PHILADELPHIA – Today, Deputy Mayor Cynthia Figueroa participated in a pre-K move-up ceremony for students of Western Learning Center, a center funded by the City’s PHLpreK program. PHLpreK provides free, quality pre-K for Philadelphia children at over 130 locations throughout the city. This year, over 1,700 PHLpreK students are ready to move up to kindergarten.

“Quality pre-K prepares children for academic and long-term success,” said Deputy Mayor Figueroa. “Pre-K is an investment in the future, so it’s a joyful and significant moment for our city whenever students move up from pre-K to kindergarten. We’re proud that over 10,000 students have participated in PHLpreK over the last five program years. This wouldn’t be possible without the pre-K programs, educators, and families who are our most important partners in this effort. Congratulations to this year’s students. I hope they have a great time in kindergarten next year!”

Since the program’s inception in 2017, PHLpreK has served over 10,000 students. The program plans to expand to serve 4,000 children annually beginning next school year by adding 700 new seats. To be eligible for PHLpreK, children must be 3 or 4 years old as of September 1 and live in Philadelphia. Interested families can sign up for enrollment updates through the Office of Children and Families.

Today’s move-up center celebrated pre-K students at Western Learning Center, a pre-K center in South Philadelphia operated by Diversified Community Services. Western Learning Center has participated in PHLpreK since the City program’s launch in 2017, and boasts the state’s highest quality rating as well as an accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. By partnering with centers committed to providing high-quality pre-K, PHLpreK has made affordable and effective early learning opportunities an option for thousands of Philadelphia families.

“We’re proud to be a founding PHLpreK program,” said Tynnetta Beyah, Director of Early Learning for Diversified Community Services. “Working with the City to provide free pre-K to Philadelphia families helps us fulfill our mission of preparing young children for success in school, at home, and in life. By adding PHLpreK seats to our center, we’ve also been able to hire new staff, and expand our team’s access to professional development and training. We’re all working together to give the best possible opportunities to Philadelphia children, and we’re happy that another class of students is headed off to kindergarten!”

PHLpreK is funded by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax, proposed by Mayor Jim Kenney and passed by Philadelphia City Council in June 2016. The Beverage Tax has also funded the creation of 17 Community Schools, and ongoing improvements at 68 Rebuild sites.