Preschool for All: Multnomah County
Making preschool accessible to Multnomah County’s children and families is one of the best investments we can make in our future.
We can ensure every child in our community is ready for school, and life.
Despite recent commitments by school districts and state leaders to increase investment in education, the Portland area is falling behind other communities in preschool affordability and access, which impacts children’s long-term educational success and opportunity. In Multnomah County:
- We have the fourth most expensive child care in the United States
- Only 10% of preschool slots are publicly funded
- Preschool teachers make half of the median kindergarten teacher salary
- There is a severe shortage of preschool facilities and qualified teachers
The Preschool for All Plan
Preschool for All
Preschool for All’s goal is to serve all three and four-year-olds as quickly as possible, while maintaining quality and a commitment to equity. The plan includes strategies to grow the program to full capacity at a sustainable pace, while acknowledging existing system capacity constraints and avoiding unintended consequences for providers of color, small businesses, and the existing child care market place—especially infant and toddler care. Based on the Preschool for All Task Force recommendations, the Preschool for All plan prioritizes adding capacity for children and families with the least access to a preschool now.
Options That Work for Every Family
Preschool for All will be a voluntary program, and parents can choose the qualified preschool program that works best for their child and family. Options will include public, private, home-based, center-based, and community-based providers, with full year and school year options, and funding for working families who need before and after school care.
High Quality Programs
Preschool for All programs will be joyful, developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive, and inclusive. Programs will focus on the developmental needs of children through standards that address all parts of a child’s learning and development. The plan includes workforce investments in professional development, coaching, and equity-focused pathways to higher education and community-based training opportunities.