Tuition-free Bezos Academy preschool comes to Pasco in 2022
The new Montessori-inspired preschool program was founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
PASCO, Wash. — A tuition-free, full-day pre-school program founded in part by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is heading to the Tri-Cities next year.
According to a press release issued by the Housing Authority of the City of Pasco and Franklin County, Bezos Academy will open in time for the 2022 school year. This decision comes as more than half of Pasco families with preschool-aged children are without access to affordable early education programs.
Bezos Academy’s interest in heading to the region began when they researched Pasco’s need for affordable early education programs. Data compiled by Washington state shows that two out of every three children under the age of six in Pasco don’t have access to childcare.
This Bezos Academy location will be located at the Housing Authority of the City of Pasco and Franklin County’s Sprucewood Recreation Center in East Pasco. Matt Truman, Executive Director of the Housing Authority, is excited to see this new option added for children-in-need.
“Even before the pandemic, too many families weren’t able to find an affordable, high-quality preschool for their kids,” Truman said. “With so many programs having closed over the last year, there couldn’t be a better
time to bring a program like Bezos Academy into our community.”
The building that the Bezos Academy will occupy was previously used by the Boys and Girls Club. A lottery-based selection process will be announced on the Bezos Academy’s website once a date is set for opening in 2022 following renovations to the facility.
Per local officials, families earning up to 400% above the federal poverty limit with children ages 3 and 4 will be eligible to apply.
“Anyone who has spent time in a great preschool understands the difference it makes not just for the kids, but also for their families,” said Mike George, President of Bezos Academy. “We’re excited to join the community of preschools helping to nurture a love of learning in the children of Pasco in partnership with their parents and caregivers.”
Currently, there are five Bezos Academy locations including two in Tacoma and one each in Pacific Beach, Des Moines, and Federal Way. Once in the Tri-Cities, officials hope to hire local staff members and educators. If you’re interested in pursuing full-time and part-time roles, monitor their job listings by clicking here.
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