First Lady Frances Wolf Discusses Importance of Early Learning at “One Book, Every Child” Event
April 28, 2016
Harrisburg, PA – In celebration of the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s “Month of the Young Child,” First Lady Frances Wolf today participated in the 11th annual “One Book, Every Child” initiative at Pollock Childcare Center in Harrisburg. The statewide program supports reading and the importance of early literacy. This year’s book is Kite Day by Will Hillenbrand. As part of the program, state officials have read Kite Day all month in preschools and libraries throughout the commonwealth.
“The Wolf Administration believes that every child should have access to high quality early learning services,” said First Lady Frances Wolf. “This month, we took the opportunity to honor the dedicated families, early childhood professionals, and leaders that help young children reach their potential every day through quality early care and education.”
“Early literacy is a crucial aspect of a young child’s cognitive development,” said DHS Secretary Ted Dallas. “DHS believes that children are the most critical component to the future of Pennsylvania. April is a month to focus on the challenges these children face, and how doing something as simple as reading to them can impact their future for the better.”
There are more than 300,000 children in evidence-based home visiting, regulated child care, Keystone STARS, Head Start, Early Intervention, and Pre-K Counts programs in Pennsylvania. Approximately 120,500 children receive Child Care Works child care assistance on a monthly basis.
“The experiences a young child has in their first five years of life impacts their learning and success into adulthood,” said Secretary Dallas. “We appreciate the hard work and dedication of family members, professionals, and community leaders in the commonwealth that make quality early education a priority for Pennsylvania.”
In his 2016-17 budget, Governor Wolf has proposed a $10 million increase for evidence-based home visiting services, $12 million increase to serve more than 2,200 additional children from the Child Care Works waiting list, and a $60 million increase in high-quality pre-kindergarten services like Head Start and Pre-K Counts.
“Month of the Young Child” celebrations have occurred throughout the commonwealth. For a listing, visit Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children at www.papromiseforchildren.com.
For more information on early childhood education services available, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.
Month of the Young Child
WHEREAS, children’s opportunities are our responsibilities, and all of our communities benefit when young children have access to quality early learning experiences in safe environments —at home, at child care, and at school— that promote their healthy growth and development to prepare them for success in school and in life; and
WHEREAS, several decades of research clearly demonstrate that quality, developmentally appropriate early childhood programs produce short- and long-term positive effects on children’s growth and development; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania strives for continuous quality improvements in coordinating an integrated system of quality early learning programs and services guided by comprehensive approaches that directly involve and engage families and communities.
WHEREAS, all young children and their families throughout Pennsylvania deserve access to a quality early childhood education that includes a developmentally appropriate curriculum, knowledgeable and well-trained program staff and educators, comprehensive services that support their health, nutrition, and social well-being, in a safe environment that respects and supports diversity.
THEREFORE, I, Tom Wolf, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim April 2016 as MONTH OF THE YOUNG CHILD in Pennsylvania. I encourage all citizens to applaud the efforts of early learning professionals, teachers, and caregivers that provide quality services to ensure the well-being of young children and their families in order to help build a brighter and stronger future for everyone.
GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, on this six day of March in the Year of our Lord two thousand and sixteen, and of the Commonwealth, the two hundred and fortieth.
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