SANTA MARIA, Calif. -

The Santa Maria-Bonita School District is looking for more preschoolers to join its state funded program.

The district says it has 92 openings right now and wants to encourage parents to apply for spots.

Mayra Chavez says the program has placed her 3-year-old daughter “a step ahead [of] her brother,” who is in first grade.

Hannah Hernandez teaches Chavez’s daughter at Adam Elementary School.

Hernandez, who has been teaching for 15 years, tells KCOY 12’s Cory James those students who don't speak Spanish or English “by the end of the year or midyear can translate English to Spanish and Spanish to English for their own parents.”

The preschool program is state funded and offered to low income.

To qualify, a family of two cannot earn more than $3,200 a month and a family of four can't exceed a monthly income of $3,900.

Raquel Valdez, director of the state preschool program, says a recent increase to the state's hourly wage has made it more challenging for families to get their kids into the preschool program.

Valdez says “Kids have a head start once they go into kindergarten and you see through the statistics that kids who attend preschool have a better chance of going to college.”

Depending on space, parents can either send their kids to a morning or afternoon session.