HomeEducationExpansion of Alabama First Class Pre-K Program includes Childersburg Elementary and Fayetteville ElementaryExpansion of Alabama First Class Pre-K Program includes Childersburg Elementary and Fayetteville ElementaryTue, June 20, 2023 by SylacaugaNews.com Digital TeamSHARE NOW MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (ADECE) have announced the expansion of the highly acclaimed Alabama First Class Pre-K program. The program will be adding 69 classrooms in 30 counties this fall, with Childersburg Elementary and Fayetteville Elementary being among the selected schools.This expansion aims to provide seats for over 1,200 children, addressing the need for more quality early childhood education throughout the state.“Ensuring our youngest learners have a strong start to their educational journeys is one of my top priorities for my second term. Alabama continues to set the nationwide standard for success with the Alabama First Class Pre-K program,” said Gov. Ivey.The Alabama First Class Pre-K program has been recognized as the nation’s highest quality state pre-kindergarten program for 17 consecutive years, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). Alabama continues to lead the nation in expanding program access to four-year-olds, ensuring that every child has equal opportunities.Dr. Jan Hume, Acting Secretary of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, credited the leadership of Gov. Ivey and said, “Alabama’s state Pre-K program continues to move toward the goal of serving 70 percent of Alabama’s population of four-year-old children. Since the program’s creation in 2000, we continue to prioritize age appropriate, impactful early learning, and development experiences for children and their families.”To support the expansion, Gov. Ivey signed the 2024 Education Trust Fund budget, allocating an additional $12 million for the Office of School Readiness, which administers First Class Pre-K.The program will continue to prioritize pay parity for teachers, ensuring that First Class Pre-K teachers receive the same pay raise as K-12 public school teachers.As the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education expects to fund more classrooms in areas with waitlists and identified needs, the expansion of the Alabama First Class Pre-K program offers hope for the future of early childhood education in both Talladega County and the entire state.To learn more about First Class Pre-K, visit children.alabama.gov/first-class-pre-k.