Pre-K Counts: Frequently Asked Questions

What is special about a Pre-K Counts preschool experience?

Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts includes quality-based standards adopted by the State Board of Education. All Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts classrooms will have

  • Teachers with education in early childhood education;
  • A curriculum that supports the healthy development of the child, academically and socially;
  • Regular assessments of their child’s progress in order to guide learning activities;
  • A plan that will allow a child to successfully transition into pre-kindergarten and then into kindergarten; and
  • A small class size (20 students per one teacher and one aide) so that children receive individual attention and instruction.

Who is Eligible for Pre-K Counts?

Children age 3 until they enter kindergarten are eligible to apply. Priority enrollment will be targeted at children who may have economic, language, cultural, or other disadvantages that put them at a higher risk of failing in school. In addition, children living in families earning less than 300% of the federal poverty level (such as a family of four earning $72,750 a year) would be considered at-risk for this program.

What do we know about the importance providing children a high quality pre-kindergarten experience?

Research says it works:

  • Children who attend high quality pre-kindergarten do better in school, are less likely to repeat a grade or require special education services, are more likely to graduate high school and attend college, have higher earnings, and are more productive citizens.
  • Quality pre-kindergarten prepares children for reading and math, but also for paying attention, following directions, and getting along with others. Pre-kindergarten gives children a chance to learn, become excited about school, and be better students.
  • Quality pre-kindergarten makes early learning a family activity! Parents and teachers work together to provide learning activities in the classroom and in the home that meet the individual needs of the child.
  • Pennsylvania’s investment in quality pre-kindergarten programs could save Pennsylvania $100 million in special education costs. Additional future tax savings are possible because children who are better educated are more productive as adults, likely to be healthier, pay more taxes, and less likely to require public assistance.
  • Quality education for our children today prepares them for high quality jobs tomorrow. A high quality workforce empowers Pennsylvania to compete nationally and globally, improving the quality of life for all.

Why does my child need to attend a high quality pre-kindergarten program?

Children who come to kindergarten without all the skills they need often stay behind and struggle in school. Quality pre-kindergarten prepares children for reading and math, but also for paying attention, following directions and getting along with others. Pre-kindergarten gives children a chance to learn, become excited about school, and be better students.

By enrolling your child in quality pre-kindergarten, your child has a better chance of being ready for kindergarten and grade school. This strong early start in pre-kindergarten means they have a better chance of doing well in school, going on to college or career training, and getting a good job. All of this can start by enrolling your child in a PA Pre-K Counts classroom!

What can I expect from a PA Pre-K Counts classroom?

Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts classrooms will

  • have teachers with the education and expertise to teach young children;
  • use a curriculum that will help your child grow, academically and socially;
  • regularly review your child’s progress and choose teaching and learning activities that are best for your child;
  • help you and your child adjust to pre-kindergarten and smoothly move on to kindergarten; and
  • offer a small class size (20 students per one teacher and one aide) so that your child can have plenty of one-on-one time with the teachers.

By enrolling your child in PA Pre-K Counts, you can give your child a great start to a bright future.

Who is eligible for PA Pre-K Counts?

Each program offering PA Pre-K Counts classrooms will have their own guidelines, but PA Pre-K Counts is designed for children who

  • are between age 3 and until they enter kindergarten;
  • are at risk of school failure, either because of income (300% of the federal poverty level, or a family of four earning $72,750);
  • language (English is not your first language),
  • cultural or special needs issues.

If your child falls into these categories, you may be eligible to apply.

How much does PA Pre-K Counts cost?

PA Pre-K Counts is free to families.*

* The portion of the day that is funded through Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts is free to families; the program may charge for additional portions of the day (wrap-around care, etc.)

How can I enroll my child in a PA Pre-K Counts classroom?

There are PA Pre-K Counts classrooms in 59 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. A listing of all the lead agencies will be posted soon. Please note: Many grantees have partnered with other early learning programs to provide services and may be serving nearby cities as well as the ones listed for the lead agency.

Contact the lead agency for more information.

Where do I get an application?

Download the application now and submit to the director at Meadville Children’s Center.

Call (814) 337-3355 or email meadvillechildrenscenter1@gmail.com for more information.

 

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