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Hundreds on Fairfax Co.'s pre-K waiting list

Friday - 4/5/2013, 9:49am  ET

classroom (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
More parents are trying to enroll their children in educational programs earlier. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

Nick Iannelli, wtop.com

FAIRFAX, Va. - Fairfax County has nearly 900 kids on a waiting list for pre- kindergarten programs.

A Mission: Readiness report shows 56 percent of eligible, low-income children are not being served by the pre- kindergarten system.

County officials confirm the numbers, but claim they are heading in the right direction.

In 2008, about 800 children were enrolled. That figure is now up to 1,100.

"Full day kindergarten is now across the county. That may very well be contributing to the fact that parents want their children exposed to school," says Bob Gregg, who heads Green Hedges School, which offers pre-kindergarten in Vienna

"There are a number of families that choose to enroll their children simply to get a head start."

The report shows Fairfax County routinely loses state money, failing to match state funding.

In Montgomery County, all eligible, low-income kids are served by the programs.

Most 3- and 4-year-olds are enrolled in D.C. but there are some waiting lists.

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(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)