Sen. Messmer on Potential Free Pre-Kindergarten

According to recent studies, high-quality pre-K education can help close the academic readiness gap between low-income children and their peers.

Initially established as a pilot program in 2014 by the Indiana General Assembly, the On My Way Pre-K Grant program awards money to low-income families in all 92 counties who wish to enroll their child in Waterford's UPSTART pre-K program.

Through the program, children are taught early reading, math and science through instructional hours, lessons, activities, books and animated songs. Students follow their own personalized learning path, but must use the program at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, the year before entering kindergarten.

Families without internet or computer access will be provided with a Chromebook and satellite internet. Additionally, families will be partnered with a personal care representative who will monitor each child’s progress. Access to live help by phone or email is available six days a week. 

To be eligible for the grant, families must qualify as a low-income household, children must be four years old and starting kindergarten in the 2022-2023 school year. Parents or guardians must be working, job training or completing their education.

If you are interested in learning more about UPSTART and to find out if your family qualifies, visit or call 800-669-4533.

If you are interested in learning more about the On My Way Pre-K Grant or becoming a provider, you can visit or call 800-299-1627