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.
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.
The link of the sources and methodology: https://www.prekforpa.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/2022-23-Pre-K-for-PA-Data-Sources-and-Methodology.pdf
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 https://www.prekforpa.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/2021-22_Pre-K_for_PA_Data_Sources_and_Methodology.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.
|Expanding Access to High-Quality Universal Pre-K for Pennsylvania's Children
|Pre-K Counts Program Report
|PPC Pre-K State Comparison Report
|Invest in Quality: A Case for Paying Closer to What High-Quality Pre-k Costs
Pennsylvania ranks 19 out of 28 in per capita investments of pre-k programs. Pre-k rates have not kept pace with inflation. Investing in quality through rate adjustments ensures pre-k programs can maintain high-quality and safe early learning experiences for children and families.
|The Road to Success Includes High-Quality Pre-K
States with similar political compositions and quality standards are making stronger per capita investments, putting their early learners on the road to success in school and in life at a faster pace than Pennsylvania. PA ranks 19th out of the 28 states that also publicly fund high-quality pre-kindergarten programs with similar quality standards, remaining nearly stagnant since the first state comparison report was released in 2017.
|Workforce Readiness - The National Security Threat from Within
While external threats to America’s national security are well-covered by headlines, few recognize the threat from within – the readiness of America’s youth. Retired generals and admirals call for continued investment in high-quality early care and education programs as “pipeline” investments in workforce (and military) readiness.
|Ready to Succeed: Kindergarten Teachers Support Investments in High-Quality Pre-k
The results of this kindergarten teacher survey show resounding support for high-quality pre-k, with 96% of elementary school teachers agreeing that students who attend a high-quality pre-k program are ready for success in kindergarten, and 98% agreeing that high-quality, publicly funded pre-k is an important tool for preparing at-risk children for kindergarten.
|Pathways to Pre-K: How Pennsylvania Delivers High-Quality Early Learning
Despite its early innovations, Pennsylvania has fallen behind as other states expanded their programs to reach more children. As of 2018, 44 percent of eligible children are being served. Still, more than 97,700 eligible children across the state lack access to publicly funded pre-k.
|Pre-K Key to Cutting Pennsylvania Prison Costs and Boosting School Success
PA's prisons are full of people serving time for serious and costly crimes. High school dropouts are more likely to end up in prison. But it doesn't have to be that way: Providing at-risk kids with high-quality early learning programs can reduce crime and the resulting costs, other expenditures, and long-term negative impacts on society.
|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
|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.
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.