Why We Need It

It’s not often that politicians from different parties see eye-to-eye on an issue, but expansion of pre-k is an issue that crosses party lines and unites Republicans, like former Governor Mark Schweiker, and Democrats, like former Governor Ed Rendell. High-quality pre-kindergarten and childcare programs close the opportunity gap, reducing the need for special education and remedial instruction. In addition, all the data show that access to high-quality early learning decreases crime, incarceration, and dropout rates during teenage years.

How It Will Help

Early learning investments pay off for the entire commonwealth. Based on economic models created by ReadyNation, Governor Wolf’s proposed $120 million increase in pre-k funding would have a short-term economic impact for the commonwealth of nearly $215 million and long-term economic benefits of about $840 million. Nearly 3,400 new jobs would be created as a result of this increased pre-k investment. Similarly, every dollar invested in high-quality child care generates up to $1.79 in short-term economic benefits and up to $7 in long-term benefits. Every dollar from Gov. Wolf’s budget invested in high-quality early learning programs returns as much as $17 in savings to taxpayers over time.

FACT SHEET_Pre-K_2019 Impact

Why High-Quality Pre-k Investments Can't Wait

Kids don’t get a “do-over” if they miss out on high-quality pre-k. For them, delayed investments means lost opportunities. To make our goal of making high-quality pre-k available to every family that wants it for their child, Pennsylvania must increase investments by a total of $440 million.


Funding Pre-k in PA Fact Sheet

Defining high-quality pre-k in Pennsylvania--current funding and access for PA families

FAQs on Pre-k and the PA Budget

Answers to legislators' frequently asked questions on pre-k and the 2015-2016 budget

Quality Child Care in Pennsylvania

How Pennsylvania provides subsidized child care assistance to families through Child Care Works

Pre-k in Your County

To learn more about the state of pre-k in your county, click on an individual county in the map below. Click on the STATEWIDE tab above to download a summary of pre-k in Pennsylvania. Citations for the data are listed under the NOTES tab. To learn more about how pre-k will benefit economic development in your region, click on the BUSINESS CASE for Pre-K tab.

What’s the state of pre-k in your county?

Click on the map below to download the most current statewide summary of pre-k in Pennsylvania. GAT_map


Each fact sheet includes data points from “School Readiness Report: Pennsylvania’s Youngest Learners Have Waited Long Enough” county-level data tables found at http://www.papartnerships.org/publication_files/school-readiness-data-sheets-feb-2015.pdf. High-quality pre-k includes: an unduplicated count of PA Pre-K Counts, Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program, and Keystone STARS 3 and 4 enrollments; Head Start; public school pre-k; accredited or PDE licensed nursery school; and providers accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Association for Family Child Care, National Early Childhood Program Accreditation, and Council On Accreditation. Publicly funded, high-quality pre-k includes: the unduplicated count of PA Pre-K Counts, Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program and Child Care Works enrollments in Keystone STARS 3 and 4; Head Start; and public school pre-k.

Strengthening Pennsylvania Business Through Investments in Pre-Kindergarten

One of the keys to sustained economic growth in Pennsylvania is to generate additional sales of local goods and services, while also creating new jobs. That is why the Pre-K for PA campaign asked researchers from ReadyNation to model the impact of significant expansion of Pennsylvania’s high-quality pre-k system and its potential impact on the economy of the state and its major economic regions. These reports document that investments in early learning provide a significant, immediate economic boost for local businesses and help build stronger communities over the long term. Click below for regional data on the business case for pre-k.

Strengthening Business in the Capital RegionStrengthening Business in Erie County
Strengthening Business in the Lancaster-York RegionStrengthening Business in the Lehigh Valley
Strengthening Business in the NortheastStrengthening Business in the Southeast
Strengthening Business in the Southwest Strengthening Business in the State College Region

Mapping Tool

This interactive review at the Pennsylvania House, Senate and school district levels includes local data on children served, unmet need, the number of high-quality providers, current capacity and much more. Not sure where your legislative districts or school district are on the maps? No problem. Use the convenient search functionality on each map to look up your legislators or school district.

Here’s the link for the listing by school district: http://www.papartnerships.org/publication_files/path-forward-school-district-data.pdf

The link of the sources and methodology: http://www.papartnerships.org/publication_files/a-path-forward-data-sources-and-methodology.pdf

A Path Forward: Publicly Funded, High-Quality Pre-k in Pennsylvania

Even with recent increases in state funding, there are over 112,900 eligible children who qualify for high-quality, publicly funded pre-k but remain unserved. This report highlights the unmet need across all 500 Pennsylvania school districts and provides a contextual outlook for rural, suburban, and urban areas of the state.

Prioritizing Pre-K in Pennsylvania: A State Comparison
Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (PPC) released a report that commends Pennsylvania for making increased state investments in publicly funded, high-quality pre-k but highlighting that the commonwealth is lagging behind many other states, including economic competitors, in its per capita investment.
High-Quality Early Education Can Help Kids Win the Academic 'Medal Race' (Champions for America's Future, 2017)
The report brings to light new data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) showing that American children are far back in the pack when it comes to the international “medal count” on academic achievement. America’s 15-year-old children finished 25th in science and 40th in math out of the 72 countries taking the (OECD) PISA exam in 2015. This is in stark contrast to the USA’s dominating performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics winning 121 medals compared to second-place China’s 70 medals.
Pennsylvania Can Pay Now or Pay Much More Later (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2016)

If Pennsylvania invests in pre-kindergarten now, we can save over $350 million
Business Case in Pennsylvania for Early Childhood Investments (ReadyNation, 2015)

Strengthening business through effective investments in children and youth
PPC School Readiness Report (PA Partnerships for Children, 2015)

Benchmarking accessibility to high-quality pre-k in Pennsylvania
Pre-K Economic InfographicStrengthening Pennsylvania Businesses through Investments in Pre-K (ReadyNation, 2014)

Investments increase local businesses sales, create jobs, and grow the economy
benefits_of_high_quality_prekThe Benefits of High-Quality Pre-K

Making a Healthy Investment in Child Development: A report from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
REPORT_COVER_STEMSTEM and Early Childhood - When Skills Take Root (Mission:Readiness & ReadyNation, 2016)

Pennsylvania businesses and the military warn of STEM workforce skills gap; urge greater access to pre-k.

Click here to view all the most recent pre-k news.

Voters for Pre-K

We hired a bi-partisan polling team to conduct two polls among PA voters in the fall of 2013 and 2014. The results? There is strong voter support to ensure all children can access high-quality pre-k. Click below to see both years’ polling results.

Click to download the Lake & Bellwether polling results

2014 poll memo

What do PA voters think about pre-k?

2013 poll memo

Pre-K for PA's work is possible only through generous contributions from the 1675 Foundation, The Donley Foundation, GE Employees Community Service Fund, The Heinz Endowments, The Lenfest Foundation, The Philadelphia Foundation, Samuel S. Fels Fund, and William Penn Foundation.
Pre-K for PA
1709 Ben Franklin Parkway
6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
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