HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Governor Tom Wolf joined advocates and legislative members in Reading, Pa. on Monday to discuss the $30 million increase in early childhood education funding.
“Early childhood education programs set students up for success,” Gov. Wolf said. “When our children are successful in school and beyond, that sets our commonwealth up for success, too.
In June, Governor Wolf set aside a historic $416 million in state funding for public education. The budget included a $200 million increase in the Fair Funding Formula, $100 million to the Level Up initiative, $50 million in special education funding and $66 million for other education-related initiatives.
Pennsylvania administers two early childhood learning programs: Pre-K Counts and Head State Supplemental Assistance, according to the press release. With the $145 million in funding increases over the past six years, plus the additional funding of $30 million, Pre-K Counts funding increases by 149% and Head Start by 77%.
This year’s budget does that by investing additional funds in early childhood education. By ensuring that high-quality early education and child care options are available for families who need them we will help parents and caregivers return to the workforce with confidence that their children are receiving the care they need and deserve,” Gov. Wolf said.
According to the Governor’s Office, the $30 million in new early childhood education funding will allow an additional 3,200 children to enroll in the commonwealth’s high-quality early learning programs, bringing the total to 35,100 children served.
“We know that every dollar invested in a child’s early years are the best and safest investment we can make as Pennsylvanians. I commend this first base hit, but there are still too many children who continue to fall through the cracks across our commonwealth. I look forward to getting back to work in September to deliver for the working-class people of Reading and beyond,” Rep. Manuel Guzman Jr. said.