Pre-K Our Way, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization, organized in 2015 with a clear purpose: to make New Jersey’s existing high-quality, state-funded, full-day pre-k a statewide priority – and to have the Governor and Legislature fund the existing law to expand NJ’s pre-k program into more communities. This website provides more information about the importance of NJ’s state-funded, full-day pre-k; the strategic effort to make pre-k expansion a NJ funding priority – and what YOU can do to bring state-funded, full-day pre-k to your community.
Our state has made real progress towards fulfilling the promise of a 2008 law: to provide high-quality, state-funded, full-day pre-k throughout New Jersey. In five years, there has been statewide, bipartisan support for funding pre-k expansion. In addition, the threshold level of a district’s eligibility has expanded to include districts where at least 20% of the families are ‘at-risk’ (receiving free or reduced lunch) rather than the original threshold of 40% of families in the ‘at-risk’ category. Importantly, each of the recent years also has seen ‘expanding expansion’ – enabling a local school district to continue to add more seats – and classrooms – for NJ’s pre-k, according to their already-approved plans. Today, there are 150+ school districts and many tens of thousands of NJ’s 3- and 4-year-olds with access to state-funded, full-day pre-k!
There’s no doubt: NJ’s pre-k expansion is a recognized statewide priority. Thanks to many people, it continues to have bipartisan support. In addition to thanking Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin, we thank the members of the Legislature for their leadership. A special thanks goes to YOU for your support and constant voice in making – and keeping – NJ’s state-funded, full-day pre-k a statewide priority.
As an advocacy effort with a clear, strategic focus, Pre-K Our Way officially sunsets at the close of 2021. With the recent signing of the state budget – the fifth consecutive budget with funding for pre-k expansion! – our closing efforts are now more narrowly focused to encourage eligible local districts to apply for pre-k expansion funding. The statewide funding priority remains strong at the gubernatorial and legislative levels; it is each eligible local district that needs to actually apply for funding. As outlined on this page, let your superintendent and local school board know that you want state-funded, full-day pre-k in YOUR community!
Let your local school superintendent and school board members know that you want state-funded, full-day pre-k in your community! The Governor and Legislative Leaders made expanding NJ’s Pre-K a funding priority. Encourage your school district to apply to the NJ Department of Education for pre-k expansion funding. Bring state-funded, full-day pre-k to YOUR community!
Let your school district superintendent and principal(s) know that you want pre-k expansion!
There are eligible districts in rural, suburban and urban communities, and they’re located across New Jersey, from east to west — and north to south.
There are 3- and 4-year-olds still waiting for NJ’s pre-k in 110+ eligible communities.
Read the Research on Pre-K
Availability for New Jersey’s state-funded, full-day pre-k has grown in each of the past five years from the long-established 35 original districts to now 150+ school districts – and more are coming for the 2021-2022 school year!
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Pre-K Our Way, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, was created solely to make our state’s existing high-quality, state-funded, full-day pre-k a statewide priority – – and to have the Governor and Legislature fund the existing law to expand NJ’s pre-k program into more communities. They agreed and acted: new pre-k expansion was funded in each of the five most recent state budgets, and NJ’s pre-k expanded in each of the past five years! The number of districts with state-funded, full-day pre-k grew from a long-standing original 35 school districts to more than 150, with more coming in the 2021-2022 school year!
But wait, there’s more: existing districts, and those where new expansion was funded, were also able to expand their pre-k programs, bringing NJ’s state-funded, full-day pre-k to tens of thousands more 3- and 4-year-olds and their working families. NJ’s Pre-K is – and remains – a statewide priority!