State Rep. Tom Caltagirone, D-Berks, has announced that early childhood education grants have been awarded across Berks County, to school districts and other entities that serve children through Pre-K Counts and Head Start programs within the 127th Legislative District.
Funded through the state Department of Education’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning, these competitive grants will help to create nearly 2,125 new pre-K seats and 490 new pre-K slots statewide.
Area recipients are:
Opportunity HouseYMCA of Reading and Berks CountyBerks Community Action Program Inc.Berks County Intermediate Unit 14Governor Mifflin School DistrictBoyertown Area School District
“This infusion will ensure that more kids from Reading and Berks County will be able to attend a pre-K program, enhancing their learning experience and eventually the economy around them,” Caltagirone said. “Studies show that for every dollar we invest in kids to attend preschool, we get seven back in economic gains and savings on public programs and prison spending.”
Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts provides free, high-quality pre-K services to at-risk 3- and 4-year-olds. Children in families earning up to 300 percent of poverty, or a family of four earning $75,300 annually, are eligible to apply. Head Start is available to families at or below 130 percent of poverty, or a family of four earning $32,630 annually.