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.
PRE-K and CHILD CARE
Defining high-quality pre-k in Pennsylvania--current funding and access for PA families
Answers to legislators' frequently asked questions on pre-k and the 2015-2016 budget
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.
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.
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
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.
|Pre-K Works, So Why Not PA?
Pennsylvania ranks 18th out of 30 states that make public investments in high-quality pre-k. This is despite having increased its per capita investment by $30 million for the current fiscal year.
|Elementary School Principals Resoundingly Support Pre-K Investments
Elementary School Principals Resoundingly Support Pre-K Investments details findings of a recent statewide survey of elementary school principals to better understand their perception of high-quality pre-k and its importance in building the foundation necessary for children to enter kindergarten ready to succeed. Nearly 99 percent agree that publicly funded, high-quality pre-k is an important tool for preparing children for kindergarten, particularly those at risk.
Sources and Citations
|Pre-K Key to Cutting Pennsylvania Prison Costs and Boosting School Success
The more than 5,000 law enforcement leaders around the nation who are members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids— including 175 here in Pennsylvania— have a direct message for everyone who cares about the impact and cost of crime: Pay now or pay much more later.
|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
|Strengthening Pennsylvania Businesses through Investments in Pre-K (ReadyNation, 2014)
Investments increase local businesses sales, create jobs, and grow the economy
|The 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.
|STEM 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
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.