Education

Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) Pre-K

Collaborating to provide early childhood development to hundreds of preschool children in Northwest Arkansas.

LAST UPDATED • July 13th, 2020

IDENTIFY

State funding for Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) Pre-K—a school day-length early childhood development program that specifically targets children and families at 200% of the Federal Poverty Level or below—remains at the level allocated in 2008. This has frozen the supply of programming while the demand has continued to rise. In Benton and Washington Counties, 63% of eligible children ages 3 to 5 (nearly 4,700 kids) have no access to high quality early childhood development programs.

 


CONNECT

Since 2014, Excellerate Foundation has collaborated with the Arkansas Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education, the Arkansas Department of Human Services, and the Arkansas Department of Education to provide early childhood development to hundreds of preschool children in Northwest Arkansas each year.

 


DRIVE

Our strategy has been to step into the state’s role as funder to maintain existing and create new ABC Pre-K opportunities for our region’s children in order to gather data that could be used by education advocates to show the efficacy of these programs and call for an increase in the state’s investment in early childhood development.

During the past six years, Excellerate has invested approximately $12M to provide an average of 680 “slots” of ABC Pre-K to children in ten Northwest Arkansas school districts annually.

In the coming year, Excellerate will evaluate this approach and collaborate with the school districts to determine additional approaches that could reinforce the effects of early childhood development through the span of a child’s academic career.