Pennsylvania's Pre-K Counts Program: Get The 411

Pennsylvania parents with children who are not yet ready for kindergarten, but could benefit from organized instruction have an interesting option at their disposal. This is the Pre-K Counts program, a pre-kindergarten course of instruction for eligible youngsters. Here is a closer look at some of the key aspects of this useful and intriguing program. 


Not all children in the state are eligible for admission into Pre-K Counts, as the program is set up for kids facing certain disadvantages. State guidelines require that to be eligible the child must be 3 or 4 years old and come from a low-income family. Local administrators may also give preference to children dealing with other difficulties, such as homelessness, having a parent who is in the prison system and having a language other than English as a first language. Also, if a child has behavioral problems that need addressing, this factor might also be considered as a reason for preference. 


Your child will receive various benefits if they are accepted into Pre-K Counts. One key advantage is the small classroom size. Each teacher and aide will instruct no more than 20 children, which gives them more time to focus on each individual child. Also, your child's progress will be closely followed and the program will help them adjust to a learning environment.


To apply, you must fill out an application with the local Pre-K Counts program. In some cases, you may be able to use an application downloaded on the internet. You may also be required to send in certain other documents in addition to the application form. For example, to prove their you meet the income level requirements, you might need to provide an income tax return. Documents proving that you are a local resident, such as a utility bill, may be required as well. 


Many areas in Pennsylvania participate in Pre-K Counts, but some locations may not have a nearby program available. The Pennsylvania Early Learning website has a list of all of the local programs in the state. In most cases, you should be able to find a provider near you. 

The Pre-K Counts program is a critical form of assistance for youngsters who come from low-income families or who have other problems that might put them at an educational disadvantage compared to other children. For more information about this program, contact a local provider or the Pennsylvania Department of Education.