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PA Receives Major Grant for Children’s Services

By Keystone State News Connection

PA Receives Major Grant for Children’s Services

Efforts to increase the number of children and families receiving high-quality services in Pennsylvania are getting a big boost from the Pritzker Children’s Initiative.

PCI has awarded a $1.5 million Prenatal-to-Age-Three Implementation grant to the Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children. Kari King, the partnership’s president and chief executive, said the money will be key to expanding public-private outreach for programs in child care, children’s health care, home visiting and prenatal and maternal health care.

“The grant is really an opportunity to increase the number of high-quality services by 25% within three years,” he said, “and then doubling that by 2025.”

She said Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children will be working with the governor’s office and other advocacy organizations to improve outcomes for the state’s youngest citizens. Some of the programs will concentrate on areas that include maternal depression and anxiety, lead screening and abatement, and child nutrition. King said the goal is to serve low-income families.

“The aim of the Pritzker Children’s Initiative is to target those families that are most in need,” she said, “and so, by definition, that’s at 200% of the federal poverty level.”

She said the programs are designed to support children’s healthy development and build a strong foundation for future learning.

The planning process behind the program began nearly a year ago, King said, bringing together both state officials and external advocates who are concerned with advancing policies that focus on infant and toddler health in Pennsylvania.

“Now that we’ve received this implementation grant, that partnership will continue,” she said, “not just with the administration, but also other interested stakeholders throughout the state.”