MORRIS PLAINS — Preschool Advantage, the Morristown-based nonprofit whose mission is to fund preschool tuitions for families in need, announced that it placed 102 children in local area preschools in the 2020-2021 school year. Two of these schools — Joyful Noise Nursery School and the Morris Plains Cooperative Play School — are located in Morris Plains.
“We’re thrilled to have helped so many children, as the need has never been greater,” said Nancy Bangiola, Executive Director of Preschool Advantage. “Many Preschool Advantage parents are “essential” workers on the front lines, and high-quality, daily educational programs are crucial for their child’s development. We’re happy to fulfill our mission by helping these families.”
Preschool Advantage pays the tuition for children aged 3 – 4 to attend preschool at one of 28 high-quality preschools in Morris and Somerset Counties. We are committed to leveling the playing field between children whose families can afford to send them to preschool and those who cannot so that all children in the community begin kindergarten with the tools they need for success.
Research indicates that 85% of brain development occurs before age 5, and children from low-income families often begin kindergarten with a significant disadvantage in vocabulary and social skills. Additionally, the gap between children who’ve attended preschool and those who have not increase each successive year. However, when children are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program, these trends can be reversed, which allows children from all backgrounds to flourish.
Demographics of Preschool Advantage students this year:
- Percent of children from single-parent households: 26%
- Percent of families that don’t speak English at home: 35%
- Location: 80% of our families reside in Morris County, 14% in Somerset County, and 6% in other counties
- Income Level: 88% of families fall at or below the income level needed to provide for basic needs in Morris and Somerset Counties
- Average household income: $48,214
Preschool Advantage is currently accepting applications for the 2021-22 school year. Parents and caregivers can learn more by clicking here. “We invite all who are interested to learn more and encourage those who know of eligible families to help spread the word,” said Executive Director Nancy Bangiola. Applications received before March 1, 2021, will be given priority funding.
Preschool Advantage is committed to giving children the opportunity to attend preschool and thus equalize the gap between lower-income families and affluent families. The organization is supported by individual donors as well as by grants from foundations and businesses. Since its inception over 25 years ago, Preschool Advantage has paid over 1,500 tuitions, providing families with financial assistance for quality preschool education. Additional information about the organization can be found by clicking here, or by calling (973) 532-2501.