It’s back to school season here in Philly! That means it’s time for a new school year for PHLpreK, the City’s quality pre-K program.

You can see how strong neighborhoods get when parents, neighbors, teachers, and students work together.

One of the ways we’re working together today is on PHLpreK, the no-cost quality pre-K program funded by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax. Thanks to this program, 2000 3- and 4-year-olds are enrolled in programs that teach fundamentals about reading, shapes and colors, math, science, and making friends.

Mayor Kenney lifts his glasses and exchanges glances with a pre-K student during reading time.
A visit to Children’s Learning Institute, a PHLpreK provider in West Philly. (Photo by Samantha Madera.)

Starting early, our kids learn how to show up and develop critical skills for lifelong learning — and success.

For parents and caregivers, PHLpreK offers a lifeline so they can focus on strengthening their households.

Anyone can participate in the program; there are no income limits. The only requirement is that children live here in Philadelphia.

Making it school every day on time

PHLpreK students react during story time at Children’s Learning Institute. (Photo by Samantha Madera.)

If you care for one of our youngest learners, one of the most important things you can do is to is help your child get to PHLpreK every day on time.

Remember, any school day may be the day your child will make a huge leap in learning — or hear something they carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Sometimes things come up that can make it difficult to get everyone out the door on time: transportation, doctor’s visits, work schedules.

Plus, growing up in South Philly, I remember how hectic mornings can be, especially in a Philly rowhouse!

If you’re having trouble getting your child to school, talk with your child’s teacher or other staff. They want to help, because they care about your family and understand how important attendance is.

Talk with your friends and neighbors, too. As a community, we’re all in this together.

And, together, we can do this. Good luck on a new year!

Here are three ways to help with attendance!

1. Make a plan for getting out the door each day: remember to leave time for breakfast, shower schedules, travel time to the bus or subway stop, and any other parts of your morning routine.

2. If you’re having trouble getting your child to PHLpreK on time, talk with their teacher or other staff. They’re there to help you!

3. Talk with your friends, neighbors, and family about alternate plans for getting your child to PHLpreK if you need. A community works together!