News & Events

April 2018 Newsletter

Pre-K Progress Across the State, the Omnibus Bill and More…

There’s Still Time to Join Us and Celebrate 10 Years!


Have you registered for our 10th anniversary Early Learning Economic Summit yet? We’re about a month away from our May 7th event at the Harrisburg Hilton and there’s still time to register.We have a great line-up of speakers to include:

If you haven’t registered already, there’s still time to do so online at

We look forward to seeing you there!

And, a special thank you to our Champion Sponsor, PNC Bank!


Progress for Pre-K in Pottstown


Commissioners with the PA Early Learning Investment Commission, Jim Waddington (Director of Strategy and Business Development, Sparton Corp.) and Tim Phelps (Executive Director, Transportation Management of Chester County), joined State Representatives Tom Quigley and Tim Hennessey at a newly expanded Pre-K classroom in Pottstown on March 20th.

“For every $1 you spend on early education, you save $4 in other costs later on,” said Phelps.

“Education funding is always a challenge,” said Phelps. “But these guys get it,” he said of Quigley and Hennessey. “They support a bipartisan approach to early learning.”

“And the bottom line is, Waddington said simply “nothing happens without funding.”

 You can read the full story from The Mercury HERE.


Senator Browne and Local Leaders 

Visit Pre-K Counts at Cuddle Zone


Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Chairman Pat Browne, joined Allentown area leaders for a mid-year pre-k visit at the Cuddle Zone Learning Center.

Officials took the opportunity to visit with pre-k students and their families in state-funded Pre-K Counts classrooms.

“Greater access to high-quality pre-k is an essential investment in the future of our community,” said Don Bernhard, Executive Director of the Downtown Allentown Community Development and Commissioner with the PA Early Learning Investment Commission.

Bernhard continued, “Pre-k programs are backed by decades of research showing that children who attend have a more positive trajectory in life. This means more kids finishing high school, getting a job, less reliance on social services and less crime in our community.”

Participants thanked Senator Browne for supporting increased pre-k funding in the 2017-18 state budget, and encouraged all state policy makers to make increasing access to high-quality pre-k a top priority for current 2018-19 state budget negotiations in Harrisburg. Governor Tom Wolf has included $40 million in new state pre-k funding as part of his 2018-19 budget proposal.

Read more HERE…


State Rep. Frank Dermody advocates for more

Pre-School Education Funding


Commissioner with the PA Early Learning Investment Commission, Nick Gianaris, R&G Program Manager, ExOne, joined State Representative Frank Dermody and several others including representatives from Trying Together (Pittsburgh) in a visit to a Pre-K classroom in New Kensington on March 26th.

The state House minority leader, Dermody, helped secure extra grant funding for the preschool last year, which allowed them to offer enrollment for 19 more children.

You can read the full story from Valley News Dispatch HERE


What does the Omnibus Bill Mean for Early Care and Education?


The most dramatic funding increase proposed in the omnibus is a boost of $2.37 billion to the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act. This increase, the largest in the program’s history, would nearly double total CCDBG funding to $5.22 billion and, according to the Center for Law and Social Policy, could result in over 200,000 additional children receiving access to child care.

The funding boost would also finally allow for full implementation of the 2014 reauthorization of CCDBG which includes important health and safety standards as well as proposed increases to provider reimbursement rates.

You can learn more about the impact of this federal funding from New America, HERE

Suzann Morris, Deputy Secretary, Office of Child Development and Early Learning, discussed highlights of the bill with members of the Early Learning Council last week and how it would impact families in Pennsylvania. She also emphasized the increases in funding for low income students to pay for childcaremental health intervention and treatment, and services targeting incarcerated parents and their children with a focus on recidivism reduction strategies.