April 2022
Preschool For All Newsletter
News and Updates from the Multnomah County Preschool & Early Learning Division
What is Preschool for All (PFA)?
Voters in Multnomah County overwhelmingly supported “Preschool for All” on Nov. 3, 2020 with over 64 percent of voters approving the measure.

Preschool for All will connect 3- and 4-year-olds in Multnomah County to free, inclusive, culturally responsive preschool experiences. The program will grow over time and families who have the least access to high-quality preschool will be prioritized for the first available slots.
A Note From Our Director

It has been a year since I began my role as the Director of the Preschool and Early Learning Division here at Multnomah County. Time has flown by as we work hard to prepare for the first Preschool for All slots to begin in September.  

We will be partnering with 36 preschool programs at 48 different locations across the county this fall. These sites will host over 675 slots next year. We are thrilled to exceed our first year goal of 500 slots! 

Allocating our first slots is one of many incremental steps as Preschool for All grows to universal access in 2030. This growth will be intentional and focused on racial equity. One of the charges given to us by parent leaders was to build a system where the educators look and sound like their families. In this first year, 68% of participating home-based and small center site owners/directors identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Diverse program leadership is one part of reaching that bigger goal. We will also be partnering with two culturally-specific organizations to offer Preschool for All slots. 

Our online application system will open in mid-April. Navigators at Family Connector Organizations, IRCO, NAYA, SEI, and Latino Network, are trained and ready to guide families through the application process. We have opportunities for community partners who work with families in our priority populations to learn more about the Preschool for All application in early April. Please sign up below! 

We are also excited to announce our partnership with Dr. Stephanie Curenton, Executive Director at Boston University’s Center on the Ecology of Early Development, and the Kellogg Foundation. You can learn more about Dr. Curenton and her innovative, equity-centered preschool quality measure, ACSES, later in the newsletter. 

Even after a year, I'm still in awe of the commitment and shared vision for the youngest residents of our county. I have connected with many like-minded members of our community that share my passion and excitement for meeting the needs of diverse families and preschool programs. I’m energized, ready to partner, and looking forward to the next steps in this journey.  
Leslee Barnes
PFA Family Applications Open Mid-April

Applications will open mid-April 2022 for the September 2022-2023 school year.

Preschool for All is building to universal preschool access. The program will grow over time, increasing the number of children and families that it serves each year. 

All children who will be 3 or 4 by September 1, 2022 -- and have a parent or guardian living in Multnomah County-- are eligible to apply for Preschool for All. 

Families who currently have the least access to culturally responsive and inclusive preschool will be prioritized for the first available slots. 

Please click here to be notified via email when the application portal opens.
Updates & Important Dates

Preschool for All Application Information Sessions
These info sessions are geared towards organizations working with families in Preschool for All’s priority populations. Please see below for date options and how to register to attend one of our virtual sessions.

Register for Option A: Thursday, April 7th at 12:00 pm
Register for Option B: Monday, April 11th at 10:00 am

Preschool for All Community Meeting
This quarterly meeting is for community partners interested in learning more about our work and progress. 
Register here: Tuesday, April 19th, 2:00-3:00 pm

The next PFA Advisory Committee Meeting will happen at the end of April/beginning of May. Please visit this page to learn more about the group. 
Partnership With Boston University
Dr. Stephanie Curenton, Executive Director at Boston University’s Center on the Ecology of Early Development, has just been awarded a grant from the Kellogg Foundation to partner with Preschool for All! Dr. Curenton and her team will be leading an external evaluation of the initial implementation of the initiative. We are thrilled about the partnership and this opportunity to work closely with Dr. Curenton and her team.

One of the key elements of this evaluation work will be to utilize the Assessing Classroom Sociocultural Equity Scale (ACSES) measure in preschool settings. It is unique because it specifically looks at the experiences of Black and Brown children in preschool. ACSES is designed to improve teacher-child interactions in the classroom. These interactions should reduce bias, increase cultural sensitivity and knowledge, and create an environment where all children can reach their full potential. ACSES data can also support early educators in recognizing their own implicit biases, provide coaches with tools to be racial equity mentors, design professional development across the system, and increase retention of Black, Indigenous, and Early Educators of Color.  

Estela enjoys the outdoors, food and dancing! 

Preschool & Early Learning Division Staff Highlight
Estela Muñoz Villarreal
Family and Systems Engagement Coordinator
She, her, ella
Estela is a passionate, public health professional dedicated to co-creating, thriving environments through social change. She has a BS in community health education and has over five-years of experience spearheading community-led strategies to improve health outcomes for communities of color across Oregon. Estela serves as the Family and Systems Engagement Coordinator in the Preschool and Early Learning Division at Multnomah County. In her role, Estela is leading efforts to co-create culturally specific outreach strategies for Preschool for All’s priority populations in collaboration with internal and external partners, including Family Connector Organizations. 
Preschool For All Plan

The Preschool for All Plan is the framework for initiative implementation and it reflects more than two years of engagement with community members including parents, educators, culturally specific organizations, policy makers and early childhood specialists. 

Feedback or ideas for our upcoming newsletter issues?
We'd love to hear from you!

Contact us at Preschoolforall@multco.us