Maui News

Free Pre-Kindergarten Program Offered Through Public Charter School Commission

April 4, 2016, 2:54 PM HST
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The state Public Charter School Commission is launching a free pre-kindergarten program at six public charter schools including one on Molokaʻi.

Applications are now being accepted at six public charter schools, with plans to eventually expand the program to include 18 participating schools.

The program is available for the 2016-2017 school year at the following locations:

Hawaii Island

  • Ka ‘Umeke Kā‘eo Public Charter School in Hilo
  • Ke Kula ‘o Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u Iki Laboratory Public Charter School in Kea‘au
  • Nā Wai Ola Public Charter School in Mountain View
  • Laupāhoehoe Community Public Charter School in Laupāhoehoe.


  • Kualapuʽu: A Public Conversion Charter on Moloka‘i


  • Kamaile Academy Public Charter School in Wai‘anae

To be eligible children must be 4-years-old by Aug. 1, 2012 to July 31, 2013 with family income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines for Hawai‘i. Enrollment is expected to be limited to 20 students at each of the schools.

These six charter schools are fully funded through the federal Preschool Development Grant awarded to the State Public Charter School Commission. The grant is intended to potentially serve 920 students, over four years, in 18 charter school classrooms statewide.

Hawaiʻi is one of 18 states awarded the highly competitive US Department of Education Preschool Development Grant and one of five states to be awarded the development grant which is established to provide opportunities for states to open new preschool programs. Hawaiʻi is the only grantee to receive funds specifically for charter schools.


This Preschool Development Grant support states’ efforts to develop or enhance preschool program infrastructure that enables the delivery of high-quality preschool services to children. It also provides opportunities for Hawaiʻi to grow high-quality preschool programs in targeted communities to serve as models for expanding preschool to all 4-year-olds from low and moderately-low income families.

“This grant allows Hawaiʻi to continue to build on statewide efforts to support Hawaiʻi’s early childhood system. By replicating the high-quality prekindergarten classrooms already operating on Hawaiʻi DOE campuses and implementing them in charter schools, we are ensuring a comprehensive approach to a high-quality prekindergarten that will benefit more kids in Hawaiʻi,” representatives with the SPCSC announced.

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