CHICAGO (CBS) — Parents of preschoolers will soon be able to research the performance of pre-kindergarten education programs, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Wednesday.

The new five-star rating system is part of a series of reforms to improve early childhood education so that children will be better prepared to begin kindergarten, the mayor said.

Beginning July 1, 2012, the rating system will allow parents to assess all city-funded programs objectively while providing early childhood educators an incentive to improve their classes.

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The ratings will be available online. A new website will also allow parents to search for an early childhood program that is best for their family’s needs. That site will also be operational in July, 2012.

“We must provide children in every neighborhood with the tools they need to excel in school and succeed in the workforce, and that includes providing excellent early childhood education,” Emanuel said at Educare Early Childhood Center in the city’s Grand Crossing neighborhood.

The reforms are the result of work done by the mayor’s The Early Childhood Task Force.