PHLpreK, the City’s free quality pre-K program, has added over 1,000 new seats for the 2019–2020 school year at existing and new locations. Although the school year has started, it’s not too late for your child to participate in this program. It’s free, and best of all it prepares students for life-long success.

Here’s what pre-K directors, Adrienne Briggs of Lil’ Bits Family Child Care Home in North Philly, and Julia Clayton of Tiny Heart Family Child Care Home in West Philly teach at their centers, and why they say you should enroll your child today. Both centers have open seats.

Lil’ Bits Family Child Care Home and Tiny Heart Family Child Care Home are both STAR 4 centers, receiving the state’s highest quality rating. And Adrienne and Julia say the best part of each day is watching students learn new things.

“From potty training, to writing, to learning how to climb on the equipment, it’s all about that look on their face – that ah-ha moment, that smile, that joy, when they’ve made that accomplishment,” said Adrienne.

“It’s when they finally get something,” added Julia. “Children are at my center from 3 months old until they go off to kindergarten. I get to see all of the milestones that they go through. When they’re building something and seeing how high it can go, and then it falls, I’ll ask ‘why did that fall?’ And they get a kick out of it. It’s my one-one-one time, and group time. It’s all of the ah-ha moments.”

PHLpreK benefits students and families. Julia said that the best part of her job is interacting with families. “I have an open door policy, if parents want to talk with me about something they can.”

And Adrienne loves how children she once taught are now returning with children of their own.

As for what each center is like, Julia and Adrienne both run family centers. Julia described family centers as “intimate.” She said, “I see the children every day. A lot of parents prefer small settings for their children because they get to interact. I get to support them in their social and emotional development.”

At Tiny Heart Family Child Care Home, Julia said, when you first enter her center you will see, “I have everything set up according to categories – science, math, manipulative play, and a cozy area. I have a lot of age-appropriate toys and educational things that they can do on their own, or in a group.”

As for Lil’ Bits Family Child Care Home, Adrienne’s favorite part is the center’s outdoor space.

“My philosophy is children learn through play so everything is set up for them,” said Adrienne, “From the first floor, to the front yard, and backyard – everything they could possibly think about exploring to enhance their lives, to develop their minds, bodies, and everything else is available.”

Adrienne and Julia encourage interested families to contact them today.

“The children will have a wonderful experience and I think it would be a wonderful experience for the parents as well to know that their child is in a safe, nurturing environment where they’re learning and being cared for,” said Adrienne.

“There is no cost for PHLpreK,” added Julia. “And parents don’t have to be working. They could be going to school, or they want their child to have interactions. There are no restrictions or requirements on what they make.”

If your child is 3 or 4 as of September 1, sign your child up today. There are no income requirements for PHLpreK.

Some families may prefer family providers. Learn more about what that means here. Contact these family child care providers today:

Tiny Hearts Family Child Care Home
2724 N 45th Street, 19131

Lil’ Bits Family Child Care Home
3410 West Clearfield Street, 19132

First Steps To Success Family Child Care
7605 Woolston Ave, 19150

Visit this blog post for a list of PHLpreK centers with open seats.

If there are no PHLpreK seats available in your centers of choice, you can call the PHLpreK hotline (844-745-7735) to learn about other options (such as Head Start and Pre-K Counts). You can also contact your preferred center and ask to join the waitlist!

If your child is 3 or 4 as of September 1, sign your child up today. There are no income requirements for PHLpreK. Visit to see a map of participating centers.