High-quality preschool could soon be available to more residents of several Southcoast cities thanks to new grant money.

The Department of Early Education and Care awarded $500,000 in grants to more than a dozen Massachusetts communities and both Fall River and New Bedford are among them.

The grant money will be shared among the recipient cities and towns and will go towards developing strategic plans for providing high-quality preschool to more children.

The communities will be assessing the needs of children and families as well as identifying available resources to increase access to preschool programs for children ages 3 to 5.

The communities awarded these grants were chosen because they have multiple risk factors to children's educational success, including high rates of poverty and homelessness.

Along with New Bedford and Fall River; Athol, Brockton, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, North Adams, Pittsfield, Springfield, Somerville, and Worcester and the Cape Cod Collaborative, which includes Dennis, Yarmouth, Chatham and Harwich will be seeing funds as well.

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