Jeff Bezos opens his first tuition-free preschool in Washington state

The new program will be supported by the billionaire's Bezos Day One Fund

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the first Bezos Academy, meant to be part of a network of free preschools, will open about 18 miles south of Seattle next month.

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"The Bezos Academy opens its doors on Oct. 19th," Bezos wrote on Instagram. "This one in Des Moines, WA, is the first of many free preschools that we’ll be opening for underserved children. Extra kudos to the team for figuring out how to make this happen even amidst COVID, and to Wesley Homes for stepping up with the facility."

Wesley Homes is a nonprofit retirement community provider associated with the United Methodist Church.

The preschool will be supported by the billionaire's Bezos Day One Fund, which he established in 2018.

"Our Montessori-inspired preschool will offer year-round programming, five days a week, for children 3-5 years old. Admissions will prioritize low-income families," reads a statement on the Day One Fund's website.

With Amazon stock up more than 62% this year, Bezos has added billions of dollars to his net worth. While he has donated millions to charity in 2020, some Amazon employees have alleged poor working conditions, including lack of protection from the spread of the coronavirus at warehouses.

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MacKenzie Scott, the billionaire's ex-wife, received billions in their divorce and signed The Giving Pledge, a campaign created by billionaire Warren Buffett, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates. Scott said in July that she has given away more than $1.6 billion to a variety of causes over the past year.

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