Universal Pre-K/Act 166 Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is publicly-funded pre-Kindergarten education?

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    Vermont’s Early Learning Standards provide the basis for 10 hours per week of state-funded developmentally-appropriate early development and learning experiences. Pre-Kindergarten education is limited to the academic year (September – June)

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  • Is my child eligible to receive Act 166 funds?

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    There are three criteria for receiving Act 166 funds through the Essex Westford School District:
    1. You are a resident of the Village of Essex Junction, the Town of Essex, or Westford
    2. Your child is at least 3 years old on September 1st
    3. Your child is enrolled in an Act 166-qualified pre-Kindergarten program
     

    You must register your child with the school district in order to receive Act 166 funds

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  • How do I apply for Act 166 funding?

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    • Paper versions of all registration materials are available at District Office - East Campus (58 Founders Road in Essex)
    • PDF versions of the 2019-2020 forms are available on our Act 166 Registration page
    • Return your complete registration packet (including attachments) to District Office - East Campus (58 Founders Road in Essex)
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  • Is there an application deadline?

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    • No; we offer rolling admission
    • Please keep in mind, however, that Act 166 funds are only distributed during the school year. Enrollment prior to the September 1st start date is recommended
    • Act 166 fund distribution begins only when the child is fully registered with the school district and enrolled in a qualified preschool program
    • Act 166 fund distribution is pro-rated based on a September 1st start date
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  • I have submitted a registration packet, when will I receive confirmation?

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    Although EWSD begins accepting packets in January, actual registration does not take place until the summer. The district will send confirmation of enrollment via email starting in July

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  • Do I have to apply again each school year?

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    • No; the school district will carry over your registration
    • The school district will send an e-mail in the spring to verify that your child’s registration will carry over to the following school year
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  • Do I need to provide proof of residency even though my older child is already registered with EWSD?

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    Yes. The Essex Westford School District requires complete registration for each individual child, including proofs of residency.

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  • Which pre-Kindergarten programs are Act 166-qualified?

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    • The Vermont Department for Children and Families, Child Development Division maintains a database of all pre-Kindergarten programs; visit its website to search the Bright Futures Provider Directory
    • Visit the district’s website for a list of current partner programs
    • Ask the Director or a staff member at the program you are considering
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  • What if my child goes to a pre-K program that's not on the list of current EWSD partners?

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    Call us! We will see if the pre-Kindergarten program meets the criteria to partner with us

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  • What if I change pre-K programs?

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    Let us know if/when you change pre-K programs. If you enroll your child in another qualified program, the funds will follow your child

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  • My child attends pre-K at an EWSD elementary school; can I apply for Act 166 funding?

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    No. EWSD’s pre-Kindergarten programs (at Essex Elementary, Hiawatha Elementary, Summit Street School, and Westford School) cover the 10 hours/week that Vermont students are entitled to

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  • I am not certain which Act 166-qualified pre-K my child will attend. Should I wait to register?

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    You do not need to have secured a spot in an Act 166-qualified program in order to register with the school district, and so there is no need to delay registration. Keep in mind that your child will need to be enrolled in an Act 166-qualified program in order for the actual funding to be distributed

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  • How are Act 166 funds distributed?

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    • Your child’s partner program will invoice the school district quarterly
    • Funding is sent from the school district directly to the partner program
    • Partner programs will reduce your tuition accordingly
      • Please note: Partner programs cannot charge you for tuition covered by Act 166 (10 hours/week for 35 weeks, adjusted for pro-rating if applicable)
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  • What is the total Act 166 funding for the 2019-2020 school year?

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    $3,356.00 per student

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  • Can you explain pro-rating?

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    • Act 166 funding is distributed in proportion to your child’s dual enrollment in the school district and a qualified pre-K program. We keep track of when we receive your completed registration packet, and we communicate with the partner pre-K programs regarding start date
    • The annual Act 166 funds are divided by the 35 week school year, which means that funding for 2019-2020 is about $95.89 per week
    • Here are a few examples of how we might pro-rate Act 166 funding:

     

      • Enrolled in pre-K program: June 1st
      • Registered with the school district: July 15th
      • First day of Act 166 funding: September 1st
      • Eligible for entire 35 weeks: $3,356.00

     

      • Enrolled in pre-K program: June 1st
      • Registered with the school district: October 1st
      • First day of Act 166 funding: October 1st
      • Eligible for 31 weeks: $2,972.59

     

      • Enrolled in pre-K program: October 1st
      • Registered with the school district: July 15th
      • First day of Act 166 funding: October 1st
      • Eligible for 31 weeks: $2,972.59

     

      • Enrolled in pre-K program: October 1st
      • Registered with the school district: October 1st
      • First day of Act 166 funding: October 1st
      • Eligible for 31 weeks: $2,972.59
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  • Can the school district assist me with a discrepancy in my tuition bill?

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    The school district is not involved in any of our partner programs’ billing processes. Our partnership agreements state that the full Act 166 funding must be applied to tuition, but beyond that we are completely separate entities. As such, the school district is not able to address issues surrounding your tuition bills from a partner program

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  • Will my child's extended absence from school affect Act 166 funding?

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    Possibly. Prequalified pre-K programs are required to report extended (10+ consecutive scheduled student days) absences to the student's school district. The school district will follow up with the program and the family regarding the circumstances and will determine whether or not funding is affected

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  • My child turns 3 after 9/1; can I receive Act 166 funding beginning on my child's birthday?

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    No. Children must be at least 3 years old on or before September 1st in order to receive Act 166 funding during that school year

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  • What if I move out of the school district?

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    If you are no longer a resident of Essex Junction, Essex Town, or Westford, you cannot receive Act 166 through the Essex Westford School District. You may still qualify for Act 166, however, so give us a call. Registration and enrollment in your new school district will be required. We can put you in touch with the Act 166 coordinator at your new school district

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  • Whom can I contact at the Essex Westford School District for additional information?

    Posted by:

    Johanna Simmons
    jsimmons@ewsd.org, 802-857-2005

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