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Dinniman: Increased Investments in Early Learning Programs to Benefit More Chester County Families
WEST CHESTER (July 13, 2018) – State Senator Andy Dinniman announced today that more Chester County families will have access to high-quality early learning programs thanks to increased investments in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program.
“Quality early learning programs can help ensure that kids stay on the right track in school, their careers, and life,” said Dinniman, who serves as minority chair of the Senate Education Committee. “Thanks to this boost in both Pre-K Counts and Head Start Supplemental slots, more children will have access to the early learning that will benefit them for years to come.”
In 2018-19, more than 29,250 children will receive services through PA Pre-K Counts or HSSAP. Approximately 2,125 new slots in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts (PKC) and 490 new slots in the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program (HSSAP) are being made available statewide.
In Chester County the following programs were selected to receive competitive grant awards through PKC and HSSAP:
- Bright Beginnings Education Center (PKC)
- Creative Play Day School (PKC)
- Treehouse ChildCare Services (PKC)
- Warwick Childcare Center (PKC)
- The Owen J. Roberts School District (PKC)
- The Pathstone Corporation (PKC)
- The Chester County Intermediate Unit (PKC and HSSAP)
Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts provides high-quality pre-kindergarten services to at-risk three- and four-year olds at no cost to families. Children living in families earning up to 300 percent of poverty, or a family of four earning $75,300 annually, are eligible to apply. Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts is offered in school districts, Keystone STARS 3 and 4 child care programs, Head Start programs, and licensed nursery schools.
Pennsylvania’s Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program provides state funding to Head Start programs to serve three- and four-year-olds living in families at or below 130 percent of poverty, or a family of four earning $32,630 annually. The programs provide comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services aligned to the federal program requirements.
Since 2015, Pennsylvania has expanded state-funded preschool by $115 million, adding more than 9,600 slots in Pre-K Counts, and an additional 1,300 in HSSAP.
A 2017 PA Independent Fiscal Office analysis identified an economic impact of $2.15 for each dollar invested at the community level for early learning programs. Not only is this funding a benefit for children and their families, but also communities.
Families may contact the programs directly to apply. Contact information for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, Head Start and other early learning programs can be found by visiting the COMPASS website at www.findchildcare.pa.gov and clicking on “Early Learning and Development Programs,” “Find a Provider,” “Preschool,” and “PA Pre-K Counts” or “Head Start.”