Business

Jeff Bezos is opening a tuition-free preschool for underserved children

Posted September 23, 2020 1:30 p.m. EDT

— Jeff Bezos is opening the doors of his first preschool, the Bezos Academy.

The Amazon CEO announced the details in an Instagram post on Tuesday: It's the first location of a network of tuition-free preschools serving children in underserved communities spearheaded by Bezos' philanthropic arm, Day One Fund.

The new school, which will serve 3-5 years old, will be located in Des Moines, Washington, and it will open on October 17, according to Day 1 Academies Fund.

The selection process for the locations of the preschools are based on a wide range of data, the fund says, which include income levels, participation in free and reduced-cost meal programs, and gaps in access to licensed childcare providers.

The "Montessori-inspired" preschool will operate year-round, five days a week, during which "the child will be the customer." Montessori schools follow a learning approach that includes "self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play," according to the Montessori organization website.

Bezos first announced his venture into education in 2018 with the launch of the "Bezos Day One Fund", with then-wife, MacKenzie Scott. The $2 billion fund was created to finance existing non-profits serving homeless families and for a network of schools in low-income neighborhoods.

The fund includes two branches: Day 1 Academies fund, which focuses on education, and Day 1 Families, which focuses on helping homeless families. Annual leadership awards are also issued to organizations "doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families."

Worth more than $200 billion, Jeff Bezos is the world's richest person.

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