Mayor's Office of Education

Quality Pre-K


With the passage of the Philadelphia Beverage Tax in June 2016, Philadelphia City Council approved Mayor Kenney’s five-year plan to create 6,500 locally-funded, quality pre-K seats in Philadelphia. To achieve this, we are partnering with dozens of early childhood education providers, including the School District of Philadelphia.

What is Quality Pre-K?

  • A safe, well-equipped classroom staffed by trained teachers
  • A challenging, proven, play-based curriculum
  • Careful attention to the whole child (academic, physical, social, and emotional needs)
  • Parental engagement and a transition plan for Kindergarten


1515 Arch Street
3rd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

The application process for parents to enroll in PHLpreK is now open. Call 1-844-PHL-PREK to apply or find a participating pre-K program near you. Learn more about the application process at

Get Involved


By investing $210 million over five years, the City aims to create 6,500 locally-funded pre-K seats by Fall 2020. While the first 2,000 seats were created in January 2017 at 88 pre-K programs across the City, further expansion has been stalled due to ongoing litigation on the Philadelphia Beverage Tax.

. . . the single most important investment we can make is in quality pre-K.

- Mayor Jim Kenney -


Investing in quality pre-K provides short-term and lasting benefits for the City of Philadelphia.

For Children

Quality pre-K nurtures growing minds during critical years of development. It ensures that all children arrive to Kindergarten ready to learn. Quality pre-K is also linked to better health outcomes, increased graduation rates, and higher earning potential.

For Families

Cost should not prevent a parent's ability to choose quality pre-K for their child. This program makes quality learning opportunities for three- and four-year-olds more convenient and affordable for families.

For Schools

Currently, nearly one in two schoolchildren start Kindergarten behind their peers, and 44% of our third-graders are not reading at grade level. Quality pre-K reduces grade repetition and the need for special education services. This provides a significant cost savings to K-12 schools.

For Philadelphia

This investment strengthens neighborhood-based pre-K providers, most of which are minority and women-owned businesses. It will also create at least 500 new jobs in the early childhood education field. Studies show that pre-K providers and staff spend earnings locally, benefitting our entire economy.