Education: Investing In A Better Future

“Every dollar invested in today’s children is a down-payment on a brighter future for the commonwealth.” Governor Rendell
Early Childhood Education & Care
First-rate early childhood programs open the doors of opportunity for every child to compete and succeed in school and in life in the globally competitive workforce. Governor Rendell recently launched the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to unite the Departments of Education and Public Welfare to enhance educational opportunities for Pennsylvania’s youngest children. Pennsylvania is striving to better prepare children for school by increasing access to proven and successful early education programs. The Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts: In 2007-08, Pre K Counts will greatly expand quality prekindergarten opportunities to children and families across the commonwealth. Governor Rendell’s $75 million investment in Pre K Counts will provide funding for more than 11,000 of Pennsylvania’s 3- and 4-year olds to attend quality half- and full-day pre-kindergarten in schools, Head Start programs, child care centers and nursery schools in the 2007-2008 school year. Full-Day Kindergarten: Funding in 2007-08 will allow school districts to offer valuable fullday kindergarten programs to children across Pennsylvania. Nearly 69,500 children – 55% of all kindergartners - in 335 school districts are now enrolled in full-day kindergarten, compared to 38,427 – just 32% of all kindergarteners - in 2002-03. Governor Rendell’s $25 million increase for full-day kindergarten programs in 2007-2008 will expand this opportunity to 65% - over 80,200 - of all kindergarteners through a targeted new component of the Accountability Block Grant. Early Intervention - Early Intervention services help children age three and older with disabilities or developmental delays. Governor Rendell is expanding Pennsylvania's investment by nearly $45.4 million ($31 million is PDE funding- $14.4 million is DPW funding) in 2007-2008 to help an additional 2,750 (PDE) and 1,500 (DPW) more preschool children in addition to nearly 41,000 (PDE) and 31,300 (DPW) children who are benefiting in 2006-07. Keystone STARS – Pennsylvania’s Keystone STARS is the largest voluntary quality improvement program for child care providers in the country. The program focuses on improving the quality of early learning programs. In 2007-08, Governor Rendell’s $9 million increase to $56.8 million will allow 1,219 more children (more than 176,000 children total) to benefit from the program. The Child Care Works Subsidized Child Care Program – Child Care Works helps lowincome working parents seeking to move off of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families pay their child care fees and gives their children the opportunity to participate in an early childhood program. Governor Rendell will increase funding by $78 million to serve over 130,600 children. For more information, please visit

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