BLOG: Education Investment Must Start Before Kindergarten
By: Sarah Galbally, Deputy Secretary of Policy and Planning
December 03, 2015
Improving education is at the core of everything Governor Wolf is working to achieve, and a vital component of that goal is recognizing that a quality education doesn’t start when a child goes off to kindergarten. That’s why the governor has fought so hard to secure a much-needed $60 million funding increase to pre-kindergarten programs with proven track records in Pennsylvania.
Under the current framework education budget, Pre-K Counts will see a $50 million increase, and Head Start Supplemental Assistance will get an additional $10 million. These investments will allow thousands of families living in underserved communities to enroll their children in high-quality early education programs.
Statistically, children who attend pre-k perform better in their k-12 education, graduate at higher rates, and increase earning potential throughout their lives. For example, 3- and 4-year olds who participated in Pennsylvania’s Pre-K Counts programs outperformed their peers in both math and reading by the third grade.
Early childhood education will help close the achievement gap, and provide the opportunity for every child to do well in school, in the workforce, and in life. This year’s increase to both programs represents only the first step in achieving Governor Wolf’s goal of universal access to high-quality pre-kindergarten programs for families across the commonwealth.