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West Virginia

West Virginia passed legislation in 2002 requiring expanded access to preschool education programs in order to make preschool available to all four-year-olds in the state by the 2012-2013 school year. West Virginia’s preschool program, West Virginia Universal Pre-K, is available in all 55 counties and reaches 73% percent of eligible children and collaborates with Head Start and Child Care in 74% of all Universal Pre-K classrooms. West Virginia requires that a minimum of half of the programs operate in collaborative settings with private preschool, child care centers, or Head Start programs in order to facilitate expansion of the initiative. The state is also implementing a child care Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) and has aligned its statewide early learning standards to the Head Start early learning framework and the Common Core State Standards. West Virginia also offers early childhood e-learning opportunities, at no cost, to Teachers and Assistant Teachers working within Universal Pre-K to make required professional development and credentials more accessible.