LANCASTER, Pa. (WTHM) — A $30 million increase in early childhood education funding in the state budget was announced on Thursday, July 9. The increase in funding will allow an additional 3,270 children to enroll in the state’s high-quality early learning programs.
Governor Tom Wolf announced the funding during his visit to the Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County.
“Every child in Pennsylvania deserves the chance to succeed,” Gov. Wolf said. “Early childhood education programs give each child a good foundation for success. After the challenges of the past year, we must do more to support them.”
The $30 million early childhood education increase includes a $25 million increase for Pre-K Counts, equating to an additional 2,800 children and a $5 million for Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program, equating to an additional 470 children.
“Investments in our children as they learn and grow during their first few years of life are critical,” Noe Ortega, education secretary, said. “Pennsylvania’s budget continues to build upon and invest in the places we know resources in education are needed the most, which includes high-quality early learning programs.”
Both programs receiving the funding ensure access to high-quality early learning programs for low-income families with children, according to the press release. The new funding will increase funding for Pre-K Counts by 149% and funding for Head State by 77% from 2014-15.
“This is an investment in our children and our education system, but it is also an investment in a better, more prosperous future for all Pennsylvanians,” Gov. Wolf said.