The state's Excel By 5 program is growing and state leaders say it's a testament to educational commitment.
Twenty eight communities across the state are now certified participants in the program which helps to identify educational needs and resources for early childhood development. Those communities are now recognized in serving children up to age five, putting them in a better position when entering the school system.
"In our state we can't afford four year kindergarten on a public scale. However, we've got eighty percent of our children already in some kind of child care, some kind of preschool, so the key for us was how do we improve the quality of that," said Governor Haley Barbour.
The program was launched back in 2004 with a $650,000 grant from Chevron and has become a model for other states. It takes about two years for a certification.
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