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
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 phlprek.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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PHLpreK Programs with Spots Left
Act fast! These PHLpreK programs still have a few spots left!
Access funds to expand or enhance your facility, learn how to meet child care quality standards, and get technical assistance.
Since 2014, Pre-K for PA has been increasing access to pre-K programs for at-risk children. Explore their work and join the campaign.