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Early Learning Reports

Please note some information contained in these publications may be out of date.

Pre-K Works, So Why Not PA?Pre-K Works, So Why Not PA?

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Pre-K Works, So Why Not PA shows Pennsylvania ranks 18th out of 30 states that make public investments in high-quality, publicly funded pre-k, despite having increased its per capita investment by $30 million for the current fiscal year. Presently only 36 percent of eligible children in Pennsylvania benefit from the opportunity. Without expanded access, school success and skill development for early learners will be weakened, ultimately compromising the state's ability to develop a stronger workforce.

Prioritizing Pre-K in Pennsylvania: A State ComparisonPrioritizing Pre-K in Pennsylvania: A State Comparison

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High-quality pre-k is an integral component of the commonwealth's education system that lays the foundation for a child's success well beyond their elementary education. An extensive body of research demonstrates the academic and social benefits including a reduced need for remedial services, decreased dropout rates and an increased likelihood of post-secondary education enrollment. Just as important, investments in high-quality pre-k have been linked to reduced incarceration rates and less reliance on public assistance programs, thus saving taxpayer dollars. This report examines the commonwealth's commitment to providing high-quality pre-k compared to 27 other states and the District of Columbia that offer comparable programs. The data shows that despite strong bipartisan support over the past two fiscal years, Pennsylvania ranks in the bottom half of per capita investments for preschool age children. Furthermore, several states have scaled up their programs at a faster rate. With this is mind, the need to build additional high-quality pre-k capacity has never been greater.

Pre-K in PA: A Path Forward ReportPre-K in PA: A Path Forward Report

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Driven by bi-partisan support, publicly funded, high-quality pre-k was placed as a top state funding priority of the past two state budget cycles... and rightfully so. Access to this vital service is a fundamental building block of our state's education system and helps ensure children have the strong foundation necessary to enter kindergarten ready to learn. Furthermore, research has shown that it can reduce grade repetition, special education placements, and dropout rates. Unfortunately, even with recent increases in state funding, there are over 112,900 eligible children who qualify for high-quality, publicly funded pre-k but remain unserved. This report highlights the unmet need across all 500 Pennsylvania school districts and provides a contextual outlook for rural, suburban, and urban areas of the state. The need to build additional high-quality pre-k capacity is also explored as well as a path our policymakers can take to insure our most at-risk children are afforded the opportunity to participate in high-quality pre-k.

Developmental Screening in PennsylvaniaDevelopmental Screening in Pennsylvania

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A developmental screening is a series of questions about the development of a young child to help identify the presence of any delays. It can be an important tool to keep kids healthy, yet many Pennsylvania children aren't receiving such screenings. This infographic explains why developmental screenings matter.

What's the State of Pre-K Where You Live?

State-Level Fact Sheet | County-Level Fact Sheets

Despite the many proven benefits of high-quality pre-k, most of Pennsylvania's 3- and 4-year-olds lack access to this once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity. And many of the children missing out are those at greatest risk of academic failure. How many children in your county are among those missing out? You can find out with our county-level fact sheets, and you can learn how making greater state-level investments can reach more children. Stronger investments in high-quality pre-k pay off for all of us.

The Case for Pre-k in PA

The Case for Pre-k in PA: Smart Investment in Kids, Communities and the Commonwealth

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Investments in high-quality pre-k have a significant return on investment for our children, schools and communities. It's one reason civic leaders and philanthropic organizations have long supported making pre-k available to more children who need it, particularly those at risk of academic failure. Yet too few children are benefiting in Pennsylvania, and philanthropic efforts can only go so far. This report details how Pennsylvania can provide publicly funded, high-quality pre-k to more children - including all at-risk young learners - through a multi-year investment strategy.

School Readiness in Pennsylvania

View the Report | Data Sources | Data Sheets | County-Level Data Sheets | Press Release

While Pennsylvania leaders generally acknowledge the many benefits of high-quality early learning programs, the commonwealth's investments in these proven programs has lagged for too long. Policymakers on both sides of the aisle increasingly recognize that high-quality pre-k and other early learning investments pay off, but Pennsylvania is still failing to fully capitalize on the many benefits these programs provide. Year after year, we have seen modest funding increases - or sometimes no increases at all - for programs that we know help young children and their families, and we all pay a price for the missed opportunities that result. With a new governor and a new legislative session, Pennsylvania has a prime opportunity to step up and do much more for our youngest learners.

Early Intervention in Pennsylvania

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Early Intervention (EI) provides individualized services and supports to families of children birth to school-age who have developmental delays or disabilities. Early Intervention services have been shown to improve the health, language and communication, cognitive development and social/emotional development of young children who have or are at risk of developmental delays. This fact sheet explains why the commonwealth and federal government need to maintain their commitment to funding EI to ensure all children with developmental delays and disabilities and their families receive the services they require.

Evidence-Based Home Visiting Helps Children Get a Healthy Start

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Home visiting programs recognize parents are children's first teachers, but sometimes even parents need help. In home visiting, nurses and other trained professionals visit families with infants and toddlers to provide parent education and support and promote their children's health, well-being, learning and development. "Evidence-based" refers to home visiting models whose services and supports are proven effective by research evidence in aiding a child's healthy development.

Fact Sheet on Pennsylvania's Rising STARS Initiative

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Rising STARS is an initiative within the Keystone STARS program designed to ensure more at-risk children enrolled in Child Care Works have access to the highest quality child care providers. While Keystone STARS has increased child care program quality in the commonwealth, at-risk children’s access to the highest quality programs continues to be limited.