PHILADELPHIA – Last week, Mayor Kenney visited PHLpreK provider Amazing Kidz Academy Cheltenham to celebrate the release of an updated PHLpreK by the Numbers report, which includes updates on enrollment, provider quality, parent satisfaction and workforce development.
PHLpreK Director Julie Beamon and Urban Affairs Coalition President and CEO Sharmain Matlock-Turner joined the Mayor for a tour and classroom activity with pre-K students before releasing the report.
Amazing Kidz Academy Cheltenham has increased its STARS quality rating, a four-tier state rating system that measures quality of pre-K programs, from 2 to 3 since contracting with PHLpreK. Twenty other PHLpreK providers have moved from “Growth” to “Quality” as a result of investments from PHLpreK, according to the new report.
Other highlights from the report include:
- 486 PHLpreK-funded seats and another 525 seats have moved to quality thanks to PHLpreK investments
- 81% of enrolled families earn less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level ($49,200 for a family of 4)
- 58% of providers are minority and women-owned businesses, and 29% are non-profit organizations
- 5 neighborhoods are no longer pre-K deserts, where high-risk children have less access to quality early childhood education
- 99% of parents would recommend PHLpreK to other parents
“Quality early childhood education is not a ‘nice-to-have,’” said PHLpreK director Julie Beamon. “It’s the foundation for a lifetime of learning, and all children deserve access to quality pre-K regardless of their family’s financial circumstances or where they live. Our latest report shows that we’re succeeding in our mission of providing quality, affordable early childhood education to a diverse range of families.”
Amazing Kidz Cheltenham currently enrolls 60 PHLpreK students, and has a waiting list with 23 children on it. This year, the program hired a new teacher and pre-K director with funding from PHLpreK.
“Had it not been for PHLpreK funding, we would not have been able to achieve Keystone STAR 3 designation,” said Amazing Kidz owner Lisa Smith. “Joining PHLpreK meant we could serve more families, hire highly qualified early learning professionals, improve our classrooms and curriculum, and participate in ongoing quality coaching. PHLpreK has been a gamechanger for our center and our families.”
The full report is available online here.