Pre-K supporters, whose ranks are growing, help us promote the campaign’s vision of making high-quality pre-k accessible to every 3- and 4-year-old in Pennsylvania. In just over two years, we have recruited nearly 16,000 individual supporters, more than 600 organizations, and over 130 civic and business leaders to our Leadership Council.
Our supporters recognize that the path to educational success for Pennsylvania’s children begins before they enter kindergarten, and investing in high-quality pre-k is a top priority across partisan and geographic lines.
Military Leaders for Pre-k
Military leaders have long valued education as the key to properly securing our nation and protecting its values. A properly educated military force has the ability to effectively anticipate and address threats both near and far. According to Pre-K for PA Partner Mission: Readiness – a nonpartisan national security organization of retired generals and admirals of the Armed Forces – more than 70 percent of young Pennsylvanians are unable to serve in the military due to insufficient education, including 16 percent who do not graduate from high school on time and 22 percent of who fail to score high enough on the military’s entrance exam. Military leaders involved with Mission:Readiness see pre-k investment as critical for national security.
Read “STEM and Early Childhood – When Skills Take Root”, a new report by Mission: Readiness and ReadyNation
Military leaders urge legislature to invest in high-quality pre-k
Business for Pre-k
High-quality pre-kindergarten and childcare are not luxuries, but an investment in Pennsylvania’s economy. With the $90 million expansion proposal for high-quality pre-kindergarten in the 2016-17 state budget, 7,400 more Pennsylvania children would be able to receive high-quality early childhood education, and 6,200 would receive pre-kindergarten for a full year instead of a half-year. An educated workforce is essential if Pennsylvania hopes to compete in the regional and global marketplace. Business leaders see pre-k investment as critical for our future workforce.
Educators for Pre-k
Educators in elementary, middle- and high-schools across Pennsylvania know that children who have had access to high-quality pre-k and child care programs show up prepared to excel academically and socially once they enter elementary school. Principals, superintendents and school boards across the commonwealth are signing on because they know pre-k prepares kids and saves school districts. Statewide educators, local superintendents, and school boards support investment in pre-k.
- Read the letter to the editor from a retired early childhood educator
Law Enforcement for Pre-k
Crime becomes an attractive lifestyle choice for those with few other options. Pre-K for PA’s Partner Fight Crime: Invest in Kids – a law enforcement organization comprised of 200 Pennsylvania police chiefs, sheriffs and district attorneys– reports that more than half of inmates in Pennsylvania have not graduated high school, which has sparked the rally cry to either educate or incarcerate. Law enforcement officials support Pre-K for PA through their involvement with Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.
High-quality pre-k programs not only prepare children for success in school and in life, but these programs also have been shown to promote good health in childhood and into adulthood. The Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatric’s latest report, “The Benefits of High-Quality Pre-k”, notes participants in high-quality pre-k programs tend to have more positive health and safety habits, better diet and exercise routines as adults, and lower rates of smoking, substance abuse, diabetes, stroke and heart disease over the course of their lifetimes.
- Read “The Benefits of High-Quality Pre-k”, a new report issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics
- Philadelphia pediatric residents penned an op-ed for Philly.com
- Read the column “Pre-k is a Healthy Investment in Children” by a pediatric resident at Penn state Hershey Children’s Hospital
- Pediatricians from Crozer-Chester Medical Center wrote “Why Boosting Pre-k Spending is a Good Investment”
- Susan Kressly, president of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics wrote an op-ed for PennLive.com
- The PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Calls for Stronger State Investments in Pre-k
As Mayors from Pennsylvania’s largest population centers continue to advocate for major pre-k initiatives in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Mayors and other leaders from all corners of PA are encouraging leaders in Harrisburg to continue investing in publicly funded pre-k. Pre-k is a vital element in the development of municipalities, creating lower crime, improved education outcomes, and greater workforce readiness. By stimulating economic growth and reducing public safety costs, over time cities and communities are likely to see that expanded pre-k can take some pressure off the local tax base. In the short term, pre-k reduces special education costs so school districts see immediate returns.
Investments in high-quality pre-k have a significant return on investment for our children, schools and communities. That is why the United Way of Pennsylvania and local United Ways across the commonwealth have long made early learning and school readiness issues joining with civic leaders and other philanthropic organizations to promote the benefits of high-quality pre-k and make it available to more children.
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 Philadelphia Foundation, and William Penn Foundation.