Leaders from around the state will show their support for early childhood education by visiting early learning classrooms as part of this year’s Georgia Pre-K Week from October 3rd through the 7th.

The special recognition is organized each year by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) and Voices for Georgia’s Children, a policy and advocacy non-profit organization.

Launched six years ago, support for Pre-K Week from government, business and community leaders continues to grow.

Georgia Power and Synovus return as corporate sponsors for the third year in a row.

In addition, the Georgia School Boards Association returns for a second year recognizing the important role school districts play in supporting early learning.

“Such broad support from so many of our state’s most influential citizens shows us that Georgians really understand the long term value of quality early learning for each and every child,” said Emily Pelton, Executive Director of Voices for Georgia’s Children. “On top of that, one could say that the steady increase in the number of early learning centers participating in Quality Rated, the voluntary, quality rating system for child care, ultimately will help give Georgia’s youngest learners the foundation they need to grow into productive and healthy adults.”

Georgia's Pre-K Program is a lottery funded educational program for Georgia's four year olds to prepare children for Kindergarten.

The program operates in all 159 Georgia counties in a variety of settings including local school systems, nonprofit and for profit child care learning centers, military bases, and colleges/universities.

Pre-K programs are funded by the Georgia Lottery and usually operate on the local school system calendar for 6.5 hours per day.

During Georgia Pre-K Week, hundreds of state, local, business and community leaders will visit Pre-K centers to witness early learning in action and to read a favorite children’s book to the young learners.

“It is incredibly gratifying every year to experience the support of Georgia’s state and local leaders as they visit and interact with children in our early childhood care and education programs,” said Amy M. Jacobs, Commissioner of DECAL, the Georgia agency that administers Georgia’s Pre-K Program and licenses and monitors the state’s child care learning centers.

Other partners taking part in Georgia Pre-K Week include the following: Black Child Development Institute-Atlanta, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students, Georgia Child Care Association, Georgia Family Connection Partnership, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Georgia Public Library Service, Georgia Vision Project, multiple Junior Leagues throughout Georgia, Metro Atlanta YMCA, Quality Care for Children and United Way of Greater Atlanta.