Goals and Objectives
Bright from the Start’s mission is to prepare Georgia’s children to succeed. The department’s vision is that high-quality early learning experiences are accessible to all children. Bright from the Start’s strategic plan includes four goals toward which the department is working:
To these ends, Bright from the Start has completed or is working on the following:
1. In conjunction with other early childhood professionals, developing the Georgia Early Learning Standards for children from birth through age three. These standards, which are aligned with pre-kindergarten and kindergarten standards, were released in February 2006;
2. Developing a statewide birth-to-five professional development system, in collaboration with the state university system;
3. Creating a technical assistance credentialing program;
4. Building community support for early learning and, ultimately, creating local “one-stop shops” with comprehensive information and resources for parents and caregivers of children birth to five (an initiative that has emerged from the state’s Maternal and Child Health Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems [ECCS] grant);
5. Reviewing the state’s use of the quality and infant/toddler set-asides to ensure they are being used most effectively to support research-based initiatives;
6. Expanding support services to after-school programs;
7. Coordinating a committee of early childhood professionals to develop a quality improvement system by first identifying indicators of quality;
8. Identifying quantifiable measures to determine success in meeting goals and objectives and to monitor the department’s continous quality improvement efforts.
Funding is derived from the following sources: the state lottery, general state funds, the federal child care block grant set-asides (to enhance the quality and accessibility of child care), federal nutrition programs, and federal Head Start State Collaboration funds. Because of this, Lake Oconee Academy can offer the Pre-K4 program tuition-free to students.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Question: What are the requirements to enroll in Georgia’s Pre-K Program?
Answer: A child must be age-eligible (four-years-old on September 1) and a Georgia resident. Acceptable proof of age must be on file the day the child begins the Pre-K program. You may click here to download a Bright from the Start application.
2. Question: What is considered acceptable proof of age?
Answer: Examples of acceptable proof of age include: Original/certified birth certificate, passport, green card, pink card, or Federal I-94 card and hospital record of live birth Immunization forms and Medicaid cards are not acceptable documentation for proof of age.
3. Question: What is acceptable documentation for proof-of-residency?
Answer: Examples of proof-of-residency include: lease, letter from shelter or employer, and any utility bill except a telephone bill.
4. Question: Does my child have to have a social security card/number to attend?
Answer: Social security cards/numbers are not required to enroll in Georgia’s Pre-K.
5. Question: Is there a specific waiver form I need since my child does not have a social security number?
Answer: If you do not wish to or cannot provide a social security number for your child, you may provide a written statement to the school/center stating that you do not wish to or cannot provide that information.
6. Question: Can I pick up my child early a few days a week?
Answer: Georgia’s Pre-K Program operates just like a school classroom. Parents commit to sending their child to school for the complete 6.5 hours day 180 days per year. Children can be disenrolled for being chronically tardy in the morning or being picked up prior to the end of the instructional day.
7. Question: Can I bring lunch for my child?
Answer: Georgia’s Pre-K requires centers and schools provide a complete nutritional meal for children. Local schools/sites may set policies regarding bringing food to school. If your child has identified special food requirements, contact your Pre-K provider for individual guidance.
8. Question: What is “excessive” in regards to the tardy policy?
Answer: Chronic tardiness is defined as late arrival or early departure more than once per week.
9. Question: How do I know which sites in my area offer Pre-K?
Answer: This information is available on the website at www.decal.state.ga.us. You can search the database for locations based on county or zip code. A site listing can also be obtained by calling 1-888-4GA-PREK or (404) 656-5957.
10. Question: What should I bring to registration?
Answer: Parents/guardians should bring proof of Georgia residency and age documentation.
11. Question: How much does it cost to register for Pre-K?
Answer: Pre-K providers cannot charge a registration fee for the 6.5 hours instructional day.
12. Question: Will my child participate in graduation at the end of Pre-K?
Answer: Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning does not recommend “graduation” for four-year-old children as an appropriate activity. More appropriate activities include, but are not limited to, a field day, an open house, family/child picnic, dinner, etc.
13. Question: When will Pre-K Registration be held?
Answer: Each site can set their own registration dates, so please call the LOA school office at 706.454.1562.