Delaware County News Network: Local pols honored for Pre-K work
May 6. 2017 by Kevin Tustin

Upper Darby >> The Pre-K for PA issue campaign organization recognized local state leaders on both sides of the aisle for their work in advancing high-quality pre-K opportunities in the state.

Seven state representatives and senators serving Delaware County were honored for being 2017 Pre-K Champions for supporting pre-K funding in the last two state budget cycles which has afforded 6,000 3- and 4-year-olds to programs like Head Start.

The following lawmakers were honored on May 1 at a special ceremony at the Delco Early Learning Center in Drexel Hill: Reps. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-161 of Swarthmore; Nick Miccarelli, R-162 of Ridley Park; Margo Davidson, D-164 of Upper Darby; and Joanna McClinton, D- 191 of Philadelphia; state Sens. Anthony Williams, D-8 of Philadelphia; Thomas Killion, R-9 of Middletown; and Thomas McGarrigle, R-26 of Springfield.

Pre-K for PA recognized individuals throughout the state.

“It is an honor to be recognized as a Pre-K Champion,” Krueger-Braneky said in a prepared statement. “I promise to continue to be a voice and advocate for our children and families by pushing for policies that expand access and increase the quality of pre-K for all children in the commonwealth, including the $75 million increase in pre-K and Head Start funding included in Gov. Wolf’s proposed budget.”

Davidson said she was honored to receive the award, saying in a May 3 statement on her website that she felt morally bound to support such an initiative.

“Thank you to all the groups that help make the issue of Pre-K funding as simple as it really is: invest in children early to make better, more productive adults later,” she said. “That’s the recipe for success.”

“Children’s brains experience the greatest amount of growth before they are 5 years old,” Davidson added. “We must invest any and all resources to them during this precious time.”

Investment in Pre-K education went up $60 million over the past two years under first-term Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, and with the $75 million proposed in the 2017-18 budget will be a 40 percent increase in funding. The governor’s website said this will allow more than 8,400 more children to enroll in early childhood education programs.