Daily American: Turkeyfoot opens new pre-K classrooms
November 22, 2022
The Somerset County Commissioners and other local leaders visited a new Head Start expansion classroom at the Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District. The commissioners were joined by Turkeyfoot and Community Action Partnership for Somerset County officials, as well as Head Start students to mark the new classrooms with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
“I am very excited by so many visitors to our program today to mark the passage of the 2022-23 state budget that includes a $79 million increase for more of Pennsylvania’s 3- and 4-year-olds to attend Pre-K Counts and Head Start,” said Anne Garrison, director of Early Childhood Education at CAPFSC.
“This $79 million increase is important because we know that 62% of income eligible 3- and 4-year-olds in Somerset County do not yet have access to publicly funded high-quality pre-K. This equates to more than 600 income eligible 3- and 4-year-olds still lacking access to these services every year in our county.
“Across Pennsylvania more than 100,000 eligible 3- and 4-year-olds are waiting. Tableland Services Inc. Early Childhood Programs are committed to helping educate the youngest learners to keep the Commonwealth growing in its early childhood programs.”
The Head Start expansion classroom at Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District was made possible by the infusion of an additional $60 million in funding for the Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Program and $19 million for the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program as part of the state’s 2022-23 budget.
Together, this new funding will allow roughly 2,300 additional students access to pre-K. Pre-K Counts and the Head Start State Supplemental are the primary state funding sources for pre-K in Pennsylvania.
Kara McFalls, associate executive director of the Pennsylvania Head Start Association and a principal partner in the Pre-K for PA Campaign, said that access to high-quality pre-K is an important part of a child’s opportunity to lead a prosperous life.
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