The Philly Office of Children and Families released their fourth “PHLpreK by the Numbers” report.
The free, quality pre-K program is one of the programs funded by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax.
The report states that PHLpreK, which is in its fourth cycle, has served and supported over 6,000 children. The program funds seats in 138 locations citywide and 72 percent of education providers are minority or female-owned organizations, the report revealed.
The release also states that the program has grown 50 percent since its launch; from 2,250 seats to 3,300 seats.
Forty-three percent of households participating in the program have an annual income of $30,000 or less.
Among students, the average age is 3.5 years old.
“We’re proud that the PHLpreK program has sustained its quality and capacity to serve students while expanding significantly this year,” Deputy Mayor Cynthia Figueroa said in a release.
Figueroa added that, “In addition, our investments in quality pre-K have strengthened the overall early childhood education system by improving center ratings and creating more career opportunities for early childhood educators. And best of all, thousands of children are learning in great settings that will prepare them for lifelong success. We’re excited to expand PHLpreK and the positive impact it will have on even more children and their families.”
The report shows that 96 percent of the seats throughout the program are filled.
Besides the growth in students, the program has seen large growth when it comes to educators. As a result of this program, 350 jobs have been created. The report also shows that there are 439 PHLpreK teachers working within the program.
The report details that 95 percent of parents are satisfied with teacher quality and 94 percent of families are satisfied with the enrollment process. The report also revealed that 93 percent of families surveyed recommend the PHLpreK to other families, and that 93 percent report that their child is better prepared for kindergarten.
Mayor Kenney is prioritizing education as part of his second term in office. When he was inaugurated, he signed an executive order to create the Office of Children and Families. This agency oversees family and child-focused programs, including PHLpreK.
Additionally, the office recently announced Sean Perkins as Chief of Early Childhood Education.