Porter-Leath Expands Access to High-Quality Preschool for All Families

Porter-Leath recently expanded its Early Childhood Education options for all families by offering a tuition option for preschool children ages birth to 5 years old. This newly added option operates parallel to the Agency’s publicly funded educational and social services through Early Head Start and First 8 Memphis. Porter-Leath accepts child care certificate from Tennessee’s Department of Human Services and also offers scholarships for families who may need
assistance with tuition.

For the first time in the agency’s history of providing preschool services, Porter-Leath is able to reach beyond Memphis to serve children from the tri-state area of Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. Utilizing a tuition model allows all families access Porter-Leath’s high-quality early education, social services and emotional development without restrictions on their
annual household income levels or socioeconomic backgrounds.

Porter-Leath Preschool offers the same amenities as the agency’s federal and state-funded programs, including fulfilling the State of Tennessee’s requirements of preschool quality standards. These standards include early learning and development curriculum support, highly trained teachers, staff professional development, class size of 20 students or less, staff-child ratio 1:10 or better, continuous quality improvement systems, and access to vision, hearing, speech, and health screening with follow up referrals for support on site if needed.

Having an array of early childhood options can be critical for some families. For example, Mrs. Walton has two grandchildren that are a part of Porter-Leath’s early childhood education program, ten-month old Nakita in Early Head Start and three-year old David in Preschool. David came from a child care center that was not able to assist Mrs. Walton with critical behavior therapy resources without extensive out-of-pocket costs. As a result, David missed several days of classroom instruction at his previous school because of changes in his temperament. Once at Porter-Leath, David thrived by receiving services at no cost to his grandmother through in house resources from partners like Le Bonheur LEAD
and University of Memphis and weekly play therapy at Kindred Place. Mrs. Walton not only appreciates the patience that Porter-Leath staff provides with David’s different behavioral changes, she is thankful that he and his sister can attend both programs in one convenient location.

Services available in addition to a curriculum based preschool education include hot nutritious meals, extended drop-off and pickup hours, 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., year-round classroom instruction and parent meeting and activities, so that families continue to receive resources to achieve their goals and dreams. In most Porter-Leath Preschool locations, education and family services are available to children ages 2-4 years. The newest Porter-Leath and University of Memphis Early Childhood Academy in Orange Mound will offer services to children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old beginning in January 2022.

With five locations across the city and a sixth currently under construction, Porter-Leath is continuing to develop ways to better serve families in our community.

To learn more about Porter-Leath Preschool visit or call (901) 577-2500.