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Effort underway to increase access to preschool education

Business and Community leaders are coming together to launch a city-wide initiative to get more - if not all- kids in pre-school.

Studies show children who attend pre-school do better in school and in life. Advocates point out nearly 90 percent of a child's brain is developed before age five but kids typically enter kindergarten at age six.

The Cincinnati Preschool Promise aims to be a public/private partnership.

Quadrant Partners Managing Director Patrick Lafley is part of the business leadership group behind the effort. He says the initiative could be a game changer for the region.

"If you analyze spending at any point along the education continuum, the best investment is up front," he says. "Put another way, if a child is exposed to a quality preschool education it dramatically increases their chances for success in both school and life."

The goal is to launch a pilot program with 25 to 50 children this fall. That's also when fundraising will begin for the estimated $6 - 9 million needed yearly to run a full scale program.

The Preschool Promise:

I pledge to work with public and private sector leaders to support a responsibly financed Cincinnati Preschool Promise. This commitment includes my willingness to work with others to identify the best possible program, and to help secure the resources necessary to get it done.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.