The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Montour County

December 18, 2013

DCDC scholarship program helps brighten futures

DANVILLE — A program provides tax credits to eligible businesses and helps families send their children to preschool.

The Danville Child Development Center received $40,500 as of Dec. 12 for the school year 2013-14 for scholarships for preschool programs at its Wall Street and Bloom Road locations, according to Executive Director Diana Dixon.

“This is a little more than we usually get. We have gotten more calls about the program the past year,” she said.

“It seems to be catching on,” she said of the program, in its third year at the center.

Parents who qualify according to income can receive scholarships for preschoolers ages 3 and 4.

“This targets the middle class who don’t qualify for a subsidy and are struggling to pay for high-quality early childhood programs,” Dixon said.

Statistics have shown children who attend a quality preschool have better social skills, less grade repetition and special education, higher graduation rates and increased earnings, she said.

The recently received money is expected to provide scholarships for 18 children during the school year.

About 50 preschoolers are enrolled at the center’s Wall Street and Bloom Road sites.

Last year, 17 preschoolers attended on scholarships and 11 youngsters received scholarships the previous year.

The center also partners with Trinity United Methodist’s childcare program which receives 20 percent of what the center gets for preschool scholarships.

Educational improvement tax credit contributors for 2013-14 were $30,000 from PPL, $2,500 from Cole’s Hardware, $4,000 from Keystone Insurers Group and $4,000 from First Keystone Community Bank.

The program, of the state Department of Community and Economic Development, provides tax credits to eligible businesses who contribute to a scholarship organization, a pre-K scholarship organization or for educational improvement.

Businesses authorized to do business in Pennsylvania that are subject to one or more of the following taxes are eligible to participate: corporate net income tax, capital stock franchise tax, bank and trust company shares tax, title insurance companies shares tax, insurance premiums tax and mutual thrift institution tax.

Also allowed to participate are subchapter S corporations and other business entities that pay state business taxes under the personal income tax on Pennsylvania business income.

A business can receive a tax credit equal to 100 percent of the first $10,000 contributed and up to 90 percent of the remaining amount contributed up to a maximum credit of $200,000 annually.

Contributions received by the center in past years were $45,500 in 2011-12 and $37,000 in 2012-13.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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