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  • Writer's pictureHawai'i House Democrats

Representative Woodson Congratulates EOEL on National Recognition for Prekindergarten Program

State office meets all 10 benchmarks for high-quality public preschool

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Hawaiʻi’s Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL) Public Prekindergarten Program has been recognized for meeting all 10 of the quality standard benchmarks identified by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). The national ranking for these benchmarks is part of NIEER’s annual State Preschool Yearbook that it released this morning. The 10 standards serve as indicators of what is required to establish a high-quality public preschool program. Hawaiʻi is one of only five states to meet all 10 benchmarks.

Over the last several years, EOEL has worked with the State Legislature to establish the EOEL Public Prekindergarten Program as well as dedicate funding to building out the program on more campuses.

"It is a great honor to be recognized as one of the top performing prekindergarten systems in the country," said Representative Justin Woodson (D-9, Kahului, Pu‘unene, Old Sand Hills, Maui Lani), Chair of the House Committee on Education. "Over the past couple of years, we made great strides to expand access to high-quality early learning opportunities, and we will continue to prioritize Hawai‘i’s keiki and provide them with the proper foundation to foster conducive learning.”

“We’re incredibly proud of the EOEL Public Prekindergarten Program, which is still in its infancy, having been established in 2015. Achieving 10 out of 10 quality standard benchmarks within a fairly short period of time is a testament to the partnerships we’ve built – with Department of Education schools and educators, with the State Legislature, and more,” said EOEL Director Lauren Moriguchi. “Attaining these benchmarks signifies that the foundation we’ve built is solid. With a solid foundation, we know that our educators, families and, most importantly, students are supported. This is especially relevant as the early childhood community looks to fulfill the State Legislature’s vision for expanded access to early learning opportunities,” she continued.

The full State Preschool Yearbook is available online here


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