Early Learning

Early Learning

Brains are the most flexible during the first 5 years of life making this period of development critical for lifelong growth and learning. A child’s brain is built prior to them stepping foot into a formal learning environment. Regular positive interactions with consistent caregivers at home or through high-quality early learning opportunities that stimulate all areas of child development are essential to set the groundwork for long-term success in life.

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children knows that waiting until kindergarten is too late and that children who receive high-quality early learning experiences demonstrate greater cognitive and social-emotional growth than children who do not have these opportunities. PPC’s work in early learning focuses on high-quality early childhood opportunities designed to ensure children enter school ready to succeed.

Early Learning Policy Goals

  • Increase funds for publicly funded, high-quality pre-k.
  • Increase the number of at-risk children in high-quality programs, especially infants and toddlers in Child Care Works.
  • Monitor investments and policies that support the inclusion of children with developmental delays and disabilities in high-quality early learning programs and provide ongoing supports to parents and providers.
  • Promote Comprehensive pre-k to K-12 transition policies that emphasize kindergarten readiness and foster relationships between families, teachers, and community partners.
  • Ensure the effective operations of Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) programs.

Early Learning Publications

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Pre-K for PA 

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children is a principal partner of the Pre-K for PA campaign. Building on the shared belief that all children should have the opportunity to enter school ready to succeed, a broad coalition of organizations launched the Pre-K for PA campaign in 2014. The campaign makes pre-k a priority issue in the gubernatorial and legislative elections, advocating increased access to high-quality pre-kindergarten for all of Pennsylvania’s 3- and 4-year olds.

To learn more, visit: prekforpa.org.

Start Strong PA

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children is a partner in the Start Strong PA campaign, which aims to support healthy child development, working families and the economy by increasing access to and affordability of high-quality child care programs for young children.

To learn more, visit: startstrongpa.org.

Be a Voice for Kids
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Fast Facts about Early Learning in PA

  • Every dollar invested in publicly funded, high-quality pre-k returns the commonwealth $4 in savings and benefits.
  • Nearly 99% of elementary school principals across the state agree that publicly funded, high-quality pre-k is an important tool for preparing at-risk children for kindergarten. 
  • In a 2018 poll, 94% of likely voters in Pennsylvania agreed that early childhood education is important.