Winchester School Readiness Program

School Readiness is a state-funded initiative administered by the CT Office of Early Childhood that develops a network of school readiness programs. Established in 1997 under P.A. 97-259, An Act Concerning School Readiness and Child Day Care and encoded in the CT General Statutes C.G.S. 10-16p -10-16u, the legislation established a grant program to provide spaces in NAEYC accredited or Federal Head Start approved programs for eligible children in priority school districts and competitive grant municipalities such as Winchester.

The Winchester School Readiness Program received its first grant award in 2000 to:

  • Provide opportunities for parents to choose among affordable and accredited programs
  • Encourage coordination and cooperation among programs and prevent the duplication of services
  • Recognize the specific service needs and unique resources available to Winchester and provide flexibility in the implementation of programs
  • Prevent or minimize the potential for developmental delays in children prior to their reaching the age of five
  • Strengthen the family through: encouragement of parental involvement in a child’s development and education and enhancement of a family’s capacity to meet the special needs of the children, including children with disabilities
  • Reduce educational costs by decreasing the need for special education services for school age children and to avoid grade repetition
  • Assure that children with disabilities are integrated into programs available to children who are not disabled
  • Improve the availability and quality of school readiness programs and the coordination with the services of child care providers.
  • Assure that specific quality components are delivered by each grantee according to legislation.
  • These include:                                                                        
  • A plan for collaboration with other community programs and services
  • Parent Involvement, education and outreach
  • Referrals for health service
  • Nutritional services
  • Referrals to family literacy programs that incorporate adult basic education
  • Admission policies that promote enrollment of children from different racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds and from other communities.
  • A plan of transition for participating children from the School Readiness program to kindergarten (Kindergarten Transition)
  • A plan for professional development for staff
  • A sliding fee scale for families participating in the program
  • An annual evaluation of the effectiveness of the program
  • A plan to ensure that children with disabilities are integrated into programs with children who are not disabled. 

Winchester School Readiness Program has two grantees:

Winsted Area Child Care Center, Inc. located at 185 Prospect St., has 18 full day/full year preschool spaces. Children must be enrolled in the program a minimum of 7 hours per day, 5 days per week, 50 weeks per year. These spaces are designed to accommodate working parents. Parents can call 860 379-0006 for eligibility and availability.

EdAdvance Head Start School Readiness Program located at the Batcheller Early Education Center has 17 school day/school year preschool spaces. Children are enrolled for 6 hours a day, 5 days per week, 180 days per year. The program follows Winchester Public Schools calendar. Parents can call 860 626-3296 for eligibility and availability.

The Mayor and Superintendent of Schools jointly appoint and convene a Council to oversee these programs. Early Childhood Connections assumes the role of the School Readiness Council.

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