Department of Public Welfare Highlights Governor Corbett's Investments in Quality Early Learning Programs

Jun 10, 2013, 10:30 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare

PITTSBURGH, June 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Public Welfare Deputy Secretary Barbara Minzenberg today highlighted Governor Tom Corbett's $3 million budget proposal to fund the Rising STARS initiative, which targets resources to support quality early child care and learning, specifically for at-risk children.

"Quality early child care programs create positive outcomes for children," Minzenberg said. "Governor Corbett knows and has recognized in his budget proposal that ensuring higher quality standards in early childhood learning centers across the state will help prevent crime, foster workforce development and assist our children in reaching their full potential."

The Keystone STARS program is a nationally recognized program that increases the quality of child care programs throughout Pennsylvania. Child care and Head Start programs that participate in Keystone STARS earn a STAR 1 to STAR 4 rating by meeting evidence-based standards for teacher quality, classroom environment, partnering with families, and solid business practices.

The Rising STARS initiative promotes greater access for at-risk children to higher quality child care to better prepare them for kindergarten success. It gives incentives to providers through tiered reimbursement to adopt quality practices and targets resources for STAR 1 child care providers to encourage them to increase their quality rating on the STARS scale.

The event was held at Small World II, a Keystone STARS 4-star child care facility in Pittsburgh with nearly 80 percent of its children receiving subsidized care.

Minzenberg was joined by representatives from Mission: Readiness, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, and the Early Learning Investment Commission. The organizations thanked the governor for his proposal and commitment to early childhood learning, emphasizing its impact in the military, law enforcement and business communities.

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Media contact: Carey Miller, 717-425-7606

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare