PA lags behind NJ, others, in per capita funding for childcare

High-quality, publicly funded pre-k is necessary for preparing our 3- and 4-year-olds to enter kindergarten ready to learn. However, 101,500 children eligible for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity remain unserved.

The Road to Success Includes High-Quality Pre-K, a new report from PA Partnerships for Children, shows Pennsylvania falls in the middle of the pack when looking at a per capita ranking of states with similar quality pre-k programs, ranking 14th out of 27 states. Pennsylvania's per capita spending is $1,103, far less than neighboring New Jersey—which is ranked 1st—and spends nearly $4,000 per capita on high-quality pre-k education.

Along with its campaign partners in the Pre-K for PA campaign, PPC is calling on policymakers to make an increase of $70 million for Pre-K Counts and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program in the 2022-23 state budget. Continued investments in high-quality pre-k are essential to ensuring more eligible children are enrolled before beginning their kindergarten year.

To view the full report, go here.