In Pennsylvania only 1 in 6 children have access to high-quality, publicly-funded pre-kindergarten programs. A report completed by Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children found that nearly 250,000 3-and 4-year olds cannot attend pre-K programs because their families cannot find or afford a program.
Pennsylvania must increase its investment in early childhood education programs.
- Early education is critical in a child’s education, enabling them to be better prepared academically and helping to close the achievement gap. Pre-K and full day kindergarten programs also enable parents to work and help reduce employee absenteeism
- Quality early childhood programs have the largest effects on high-risk, traditionally underserved children during the most important cognitive and social developmental period of their lives.
- Early childhood investments are helping Pennsylvania close the achievement gap and produce the qualified workers the state and the nation need for a prosperous future.1
- Improvements in access, quality and accountability are needed to ensure that Pennsylvania’s children and taxpayers reap the benefits promised by the research of high-quality programs.2
- A growing body of research continues to demonstrate that high-quality, publicly funded pre-k yields positive short- and long-term benefits for participating children, taxpayers, the economy and state and local school reform efforts.3
- A study shows that a targeted pre-k program costing $298 million in 2008 would yield total benefits – savings and higher revenues to government budgets, increased earnings to participants’ families and reduced costs to crime victims – sufficient to pay for itself within eight years. In nine years it would pay for itself in government budget benefits alone.4
1 Investment in PA’s early childhood programs pay off now and later, Pew Center on the States, March 2011
2 Investment in PA’s early childhood programs pay off now and later, Pew Center on the States, March 2011
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