Wolf Administration Receives Nearly 25,000 Responses for Pre-K Expansion

May 08, 2015

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced that his administration has received Letters of Intent (LOI) for nearly 25,000 new slots for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts and Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program. In his budget, Governor Wolf includes an increase of $120 million for these two programs, which is projected to create 14,000 new slots for children to enroll in early childhood education. The Wolf Administration, through the Department of Education (PDE), previously announced it was launching the application process for both programs.

“Children who have access to high-quality pre-kindergarten programs perform better in schools, graduate at higher rates, and earn more throughout their lives compared to their peers who do not have access to early learning programs,” said Governor Wolf. “In Pennsylvania, there is an immediate need to expand publicly funded Pre-K and early childhood education programs, which is evident by the overwhelming response my administration received from eligible entities looking to expand their programs. My administration is taking proactive steps to ensure that at least 14,000 more children have access to early education programs, and the fact that we received Letters of Intent for nearly 25,000 slots highlights the need for the legislature to approve my budget that proposes an additional $120 million for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program.”

With new investments in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts ($100 million) and Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program ($20 million), the state will be able to increase the number of children served in high-quality pre-kindergarten by 75 percent. These proposed increases represent the first step in achieving the goal of universal access to high quality pre-kindergarten programs for families across the commonwealth. PDE initiated the process by accepting Letters of Intent from qualified early education providers. By the deadline, April 29th, PDE had received LOIs for more than 20,000 Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts slots and over 4,300 Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program slots.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Sheridan – 717.783.1116

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