On May 16, 2016, in the State Capitol rotunda, the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics released a new report - Making a Healthy Investment in Child Development: The Benefits of High-Quality Pre-K – that details the health-related benefits of high-quality pre-kindergarten programs. As the report illustrates, high-quality pre-k is a proven tool to help overcome some of the negative impacts many of Pennsylvania’s young children face, including those children at higher risk of academic failure due to economic circumstances or family social and emotional issues. Unfortunately, too many of Pennsylvania’s 3- and 4-year-olds lack access to high-quality pre-k, in part due to a lack of state investments in these programs.
In addition to releasing the report, pediatric residents from across PA met with state legislators to advocate for universal pre-K education for all Pennsylvania children to ensure that pediatrician voices are heard on this important issue. As our report notes, high-quality pre-k works, and PA AAP has encouraged our elected leaders in Harrisburg to increase state investments in high-quality pre-k by $90 million. The Pre K for PA Campaign, a broad coalition of organizations advocating for increased access to high-quality pre-kindergarten, is leading the fight to increase pre-k funding in Harrisburg. PA AAP is proud to be supporting the Pre K for PA Campaign.