Reading Eagle: Letter to the Editor: Pre-k Programs Need More Funding
June 18, 2016

At the Albright Early Learning Center there is a waiting list for our high-quality pre-kindergarten program. As a Pre-K provider, I see the difference high-quality preschool can have socially, emotionally and intellectually on a child, and that the number of children who do not yet have access is unacceptable.

High-quality preschool can be such an integral part of early learning, especially for those who are the greatest risk for failure later in life. Without a great start in pre-K, the education gap only widens as children get older. As a director of an early-learning facility, I know this to be true, but I’m clearly not the only one. Pre-K has support from business leaders, law enforcement, parents and both sides of the political aisle in Harrisburg. It is a testament to just how strongly Pennsylvanians feel about the importance of pre-K.

I am aware that local pre-K centers have received some additional funding from the state recently to open up more slots for students (“Celebrating pre-K funding increase,” Reading Eagle, March 19). We must find a way to invest more in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our young children. The need is still so great. Let’s provide access to a high-quality education to all of Pennsylvania’s youngest learners. Let’s make it count.

Laura Heckart
Spring Township
Editor’s note: Heckart is director of the Albright Early Learning Center in Muhlenberg Township.

See the letter to the editor here.