Cleveland community members demanding investment into early learning spaces

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:48 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - PRE4CLE, a collective looking to benefit early education, has called on Cleveland City Council and the Mayor’s office to use a portion of the final wave of ARPA funds to help improve early education spaces.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds were given out by the federal government to help cities across the United States recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. PRE4CLE is requesting $5M of those funds to help 25-30 “high-quality early learning facilities across every neighborhood in Cleveland,”.

According to PRE4CLE, “Renovations at these early learning centers will contribute to the overall revitalization within all Cleveland neighborhoods by providing safe, supportive child care options for working families close to home. By investing in the infrastructure that supports our youngest residents, Cleveland is investing in the future of the city”.

The belief is that, if there is investment in lower levels of education, it would encourage more population growth. “The key to attracting families to Cleveland and keeping young people here to start families is high-quality child care. Studies show that parents overwhelmingly want their children in safe, supportive educational environments. We know that our high-quality preschools provide excellent learning opportunities, and it’s time we make the quality of the space match the quality of the education” PRE4CLE Executive Director Katie Kelly said.

In addition to ARPA funding, PRE4CLE is looking to get state funding as well to help.