The Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission applauds Governor Wolf and the General Assembly for an on-time budget that invests early!
Last Friday, Governor Wolf signed the State budget (HB 2121) into law that includes $66.5 million in increases (6.7%) for early learning. This brings Pennsylvania’s investments in young children to more than $1 billion, and leverages more than $800 million in federal funds.
Pennsylvania’s early learning budget increases are as follows:
- $6.8 Million increase for Child Care Works which will move 1,100 children from the waiting list into early care and education programs.
- $6.7 Million increase for Home Visiting, including funds to expand services in areas hardest hit by the opioid epidemic.
- $25 Million increase for Pre-K Counts and Head Start Supplemental to serve an additional 2,615 children in high quality Pre-K programs and move 435 children from part-time to full-time Pre-K participation.
- $28 Million increase for Early Intervention Services.
We are especially pleased about the increase in Child Care Works funding which will enable more children to develop important skills that last a lifetime, while their parents work and/or pursue job training. As the labor market tightens, investments in child care are becoming increasingly important for families and employers.
The Commission applauds the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) for its exceptional work to ensure strong investments that deliver excellent returns. OCDEL’s superior stewardship is essential to growing Pennsylvania’s early learning investments. We thank the more than 7,000 providers of early learning programs across Pennsylvania for the work they do each day to nurture young children. These increased investments demonstrate the growing support for their essential work.
If you haven’t already, please take a moment to thank Governor Wolf and your state legislators for their support of young children in Pennsylvania’s budget.