A new partnership between Monroe Community College and the Rochester City School District means 30 families will have access to free, full-day pre-kindergarten starting this fall at MCC's Brighton campus.
Fourteen slots will be open for 3-year-old children in an expanded pre-K program. This is for children who are English language learners or who have special needs and whose families meet income requirements.
Applications will be taken for an additional 14 full-day slots for 4-year-olds in a universal pre-K program. This program is available for any city of Rochester residents.
Anne Barker, manager of MCC's Guon Child Care Center, says institutional research has shown that these programs can make a real difference for both students and their young children.
"One of the things we've discovered is that the students who do have their children here at the child care center do graduate on time at a higher percentage; they will transition to four-year colleges and finish their degrees at a significantly higher rate than students who have young children and are not using the child care center here."
Knowing their child is being well cared for gives students the peace of mind to focus on their studies, Barker said. She believes another factor contributing to the students’ success is the moral support they get from teachers at the center.
"Maybe a parent comes in and they've had an exam and they're upset about it. They'll take the parent aside for a little bit and talk to them and reassure them and help them to feel better about what's going on."
City of Rochester residents don't have to attend MCC to be eligible to enroll their child in the pre-K programs. The expanded pre-K enrollment will be based on a lottery system. The universal pre-K enrollment will be first come, first served.
Parents are asked to apply in person at the Guon Child Care Center at 1000 East Henrietta Road.