For many children and families across Philadelphia, today was an important first step in their education journey. Exactly one year to the day after Mayor Kenney’s inauguration, 2,000 more 3- and 4-year-olds can attend free, quality pre-K in their neighborhoods.

Otis Hackney, the city’s Chief Education Officer, visited SPIN-Parkwood in Northeast Philly this morning to greet new students and parents as they arrived to their first day.

“I can’t think of a better way to mark the anniversary of my first day in office than to know Philadelphia families, who a year ago were struggling to afford quality child care, now have access to PHLpreK,” said Mayor Kenney. “Quality early childhood education provides a tremendous return on investment for the citizens of Philadelphia, reducing the need for costly special education, improving graduation rates, and creating both immediate and long-term economic growth for our small businesses and the city at large. Beyond that, our children just deserve the opportunity to fulfill their potential, and quality pre-K gives them that fair start.”

The City has partnered with 73 pre-K providers operating at 89 locations citywide. Few seats remain so interested families are encouraged to call 844-PHL-PREK (844-745-7735) to enroll.

Check out some of our favorite moments from the first day:

Read more highlights from today’s kick-off via, CBS3, and WHYY, NBC10, and Fox29.