As part of our ongoing commitment to creating equitable opportunities for success and promoting educational opportunities for all kids, PUMP has endorsed two statewide coalitions committed to high-quality early learning:
- Start Strong PA: Advocates for high-quality, affordable child care for all children from birth to three years old in Pennsylvania
- Pre-K for PA: Advocates for high-quality, affordable pre-k for all children from three to four years old in Pennsylvania
Together, these organizations have led advocacy efforts to increase early learning funding in the state budget.
Pre-K for PA
The Pre-K for PA Campaign launched in 2014 and now includes more than 130 Leadership Council members and 600 supporting orginazations. Its vision is that “all children can enter school ready to succeed by making high-qualtiy pre-k accessible to every 3- and 4-year-old in Pennsylvania.”
60% of 3- and 4-year-olds in Pennsylvania do not have access to high-quality pre-k. Research shows that pre-k and early education has many educational, emotional, social, and economic benefits for kids and communities. Pre-K for PA aims to secure more funding for pre-k across the commonwealth.
Start Strong PA
Start Strong PA’s goal is to support healthy child development, working families, and the economy by advocating for increased access to and affordability of high-quality child care programs, beginning with infants and toddlers. This coalition builds on the goal of Pre-K for PA – which focuses on 3- and 4-year-olds – to encompass children birth through 2 years old.
Early education is a crucial investment for the long-term wellbeing of children and communities, because “infant and toddler brains make millions of neural connections every second–forming brain architecture for life. At no other time in a human’s life will the brain develop at this remarkable speed or with such intricacy. This is the foundation upon which all later learning, behavior, and health depend” (Harvard Center on the Developing Child).
High quality child care improves early learning, cognitive and language development, social and emotional development, and school achievement. Research shows that “quality child care is particularly important to low-income children” (Zero to Three).
The benefits are felt throughout the community and economy: “Experts calculate that the return on investment (ROI) for quality early childhood education – in terms of money saved in the health care system, in prisons, in tax revenue, in special education – is somewhere between $4 and $13 for every one dollar invested in a young child” (No Small Matter).
Start Strong PA aims to secure more funding throughout the state for these crucial programs and community supports.
As an endorsing organization of Pre-K for PA and Start Strong PA, PUMP supports their statewide organizing efforts to expand opportunities for all children.