A mixed-delivery model is best understood as placing a public preschool classroom within a private child care center. Mixed-delivery preschool facilitates partnership among public school districts and private child care providers to expand access to publicly funded early learning services. A mixed-delivery system wraps child care services around public preschools to provide full working day services for children and their working parents. The model blends funding from multiple funding streams, including from public preschool dollars to provide preschool classes and additional dollars from child care and Head Start funding to provide after-school care in one setting.
Mixed-delivery preschool increases access to quality early learning, offers flexibility given parent work schedules, and best serves the developmental needs of young children.
- For families, a mixed delivery system allows parents to choose among different program types and select one that best meets their needs, and children can participate in a program that meets their developmental needs and learning style.
- Preschool slots are offered in child care programs, including center-based child care and family child care homes, that operate for a full day and full year.
- A variety of settings can meet a parent’s needs for child care that aligns with their work hours.
- Mixed-delivery preschool meets children’s educational and developmental needs to be prepared for kindergarten.
Mixed-delivery preschool streamlines funding via multiple funding streams.
- For early learning providers, a mixed delivery system increases fiscal stability by allowing multiple funding streams to support it.
- According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, West Virginia’s mixed-delivery model blends early education funding. For parents that require a full day of child care, the Preschool portion of a full-day slot is funded by state education funds via WV Preschool dollars. Child care programs are supported by braiding other funding streams, such as Head Start, child care subsidy, and parent tuition to provide a full day of care.
Mixed-delivery preschool readily expands high-quality early learning opportunities to underserved children.
- Mixed-delivery preschool facilitates partnership among public school districts and private child care providers to expand access to publicly funded preschool services.
- Mixed-delivery preschool provides a solution to public school facilities with limited space for preschool classrooms and reduces need for capital/construction costs.
- Mixed-delivery preschool allows more children to enter school with the necessary skills to be successful by developing public-private partnerships to increase access to preschool for 4-year-olds.
- Mixed-delivery preschool allows public school districts to engage with the families of young children earlier by partnering with private early education providers already known and trusted by families in communities, thereby easing transitions to kindergarten and strengthening relationships among parents and school districts sooner.
- Mixed-delivery preschool stabilizes the early learning business model by providing early learning for the children of working parents, forging partnerships with public school districts, and blending multiple early learning funding streams to provide greater access to and quality of early learning opportunities.
Mixed-delivery Preschool is a feasible model tested in Kentucky’s peer states and is the common-sense solution to the sustainable expansion of high-quality preschool services to all 4-year-olds.
Public-private partnerships among already existing private child care facilities and the public school system eliminate barriers to the rapid expansion of Preschool, such as facilities capacity and teacher shortages faced by public school districts, and meet the needs of parents in the workforce by expanding access and quality and offering care services that match work schedules.
Mixed-delivery preschool is fiscally sound. By blending already existing public preschool funds with support provided for child care, such as CCAP, public dollars can best serve the educational needs of young children and the practical concerns of their working parents.
Blogs in this series:
- Introduction: “Expanding Access to Early Education & Supporting Working Families: The Case for Mixed-Delivery Preschool in Kentucky”
- Blog 1: “What is mixed-delivery preschool?”
- Blog 2: “What does mixed-delivery preschool mean for children, working families, public school districts, and early childhood providers?”
- Blog 3: “Pitfalls to Avoid in Preschool Expansion”