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Early Learning in PA

Program Reach & Risk Assessment


The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is committed to providing early childhood services to Pennsylvania’s young children, with special attention to those at risk of school failure. Research consistently shows that children at risk of school failure benefit from quality early learning opportunities, with economic and educational benefits that extend to our families, communities, and the commonwealth. This report provides information about how well the commonwealth is reaching its young children with quality early learning services, with special attention to at-risk children for Fiscal Year 2012-2013.

The report:

  • includes an analysis of economic, maternal, birth outcome, academic, and toxic stress risk factors that can harm a child’s chances of doing well in school;
  • compiles information on the number of children served through OCDEL programs; 
  • shows the funding allocation levels for early childhood programs supported by state and federal investments; and
  • identifies counties and cities most likely to benefit from early childhood investments, based on these risk factors.

This data can be used for several purposes: 1) track progress in reaching all children who can benefit most from early education; 2) help communities better understand their early childhood programming needs, particularly in counties where there are high risks; and 3) inform future decisions regarding early childhood education policies and practices.

There are several enhancements to the OCDEL Risk and Reach Report this year, including new risk factors and the use of school district data in place of municipality data.

Visit the OCDEL Research website to view the Office of Child Development and Early Learning Program Reach and Risk Assessment, State Fiscal Year 2012-13.

How to use the Reach & Risk Report

The report compiles information from the 2012-2013 fiscal year on the number of children affected by 16 risk factors for school failure and the number of children in each county served by federally- and state-funded early childhood programs, such as Keystone STARS, Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, Early Intervention, Head Start, Child Care Works, and Nurse-Family Partnership. The Reach and Risk Report is an excellent way to show policymakers and community leaders the need for early education in their communities and any gaps in services.

Here are several tools to help:

Download your county's Early Childhood Education Profile. Scroll to your county’s profile (each profile is two pages) and save or print out. Each county profile includes the state data as a comparison. You can share this fact sheet with school, community and business leaders, legislators and policymakers to give a quick snapshot of why early education is important and how many children have access to publicly-funded quality early education in your county. If you’d like to make a custom profile, download the blank template in Word and add in the data on your won.

Customize our School District Early Childhood Education Profile template. This profile is an easy and effective way to educate school board members and school officials about the needs and reach of early education in their district.  

Sample letter to the editor – Use this template to highlight the need in your community through local newspapers.

Template newsletter article – customize this template with local information and publish in your organization’s newsletter, community newsletter, or ask your legislators to publish in their newsletters. This information can be very compelling to our policymakers. Please take time now to share with your community leaders and decision makers in Harrisburg.



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