The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 24, 2014

Pennsylvania Head Start Programs Embrace New Campaign


The Daily Item

— HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Head Start Association is part of the coalition kicking off the Pre K for PA Campaign.

Head Start programs provide high quality Pre K to over 31,000 children and their families in Pennsylvania. Every year Head Start programs have to turn away thousands of families and their deserving children. Some programs have waiting lists of over 500 children. Every day Head Start programs see the need for substantial increases in funding for Pre K in Pennsylvania.

The amount of public funds available for pre-k, in Pennsylvania is only enough to help fewer than 20 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds access high-quality programs. As a result, many families cannot find or afford high-quality pre-k, despite its proven benefits in preparing children for school.  

A growing body of research shows children with access to high-quality pre-k are more likely to do well in school and have improved social and emotional skills. They also tend to need fewer special education and remedial learning services, and they have an increased likelihood of high school graduation and college enrollment.

Citing strong public support for greater investments in high-quality pre-kindergarten programs, a newly formed coalition today kicked off a statewide campaign — “Pre-K for PA: All Children Ready to Succeed” — to ensure every 3- and 4-year-old in Pennsylvania has the opportunity to attend high-quality pre-k. For more information about the Pre K for PA campaign go to Campaign web site www.prekforpa.org.