Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts was enacted into law by Act 45 of 2007 (and amended in 2008 and 2010) amending the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. §§ 25-2501—25-2599.3). Its purpose is to expand the number of children who have access to a high-quality pre-kindergarten program. The standards for the program ensure a high return on the investment made in preparing young children for school and help close the achievement gap between groups of students in the K-12 educational system.
Early education through Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts can open the doors of opportunity for every child to do well in school, in the workforce, and in life. Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts began with a $75 million funding allocation that served 10,945 children, in 61 school district, 36 Head Start programs, 189 child care centers, and 16 licensed nursery school programs. Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts funding is awarded on a cost per child basis.
On Feb. 6, 2014, Governor Corbett proposed an additional $10 million for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts programming. Pending enactment by the General Assembly these additional funds would result in a competitive application process projected for announcement through Penn*Link, the BUILD newsletter, and the PA Keys website, in July 2014. In anticipation of this funding, the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) Office of Child Development and Early Learning encourages interested applicants to ensure they are eligible to apply.
The following entities will be eligible to apply in the competitive process for 2014:
- Existing Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grantees
- New applicants from one of the five eligible entity categories:
§ School districts
§ Licensed nursery schools
§ Head Start grantees
§ Child care centers and group child care homes designated at Keystone STAR 3 or STAR 4
§ A third party entity may apply for Pennsylvania Pre‐K Counts funding and administer the lead agency responsibilities for entities that are eligible to provide the classroom services under the categories listed above
All applicants and locations that will serve Pre-K Counts children must meet at least one of these eligibility categories at the time of the application process. Furthermore, applicants must have the following in place in order complete an application: a vendor number (SAP #), an administrative unit number (AUN), a master provider index number (MPI), and a federal ID number or tax ID number.
Vendor Number (SAP Number)
A vendor number can be established by registering at www.vendorregistration.state.pa.us and selecting the Non-Procurement Registration Form. All agencies applying for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts must be pre-registered. If you have any questions about vendor numbers, please contact Brian Bell in PDE’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning at (717) 346-0038.
All Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts applicants will need an AUN number as part of the application process. To verify your AUN number or to check to see if you have one assigned to your agency, visit: http://www.edna.ed.state.pa.us. If you are an intermediate unit, select Search for Intermediate Units. If you are not an intermediate unit, select Advanced Search and search for your agency.
Applicants that are not already licensed by PDE, and therefore do not have an AUN number, should contact Brian Bell in PDE’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning at (717) 346-0038.
Master Provider Index Number
All Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts applicants will need a Master Provider Index (MPI) number as part of the application process. MPI numbers are used across the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) to identify legal entities and service locations that participate in any of their programs. As such, they are used in DPW’s data system as a common identifier for all of the Office of Child Development and Early learning’s (which is a joint office between PDE and DPW) programs, including Child Care Licensing, Early Intervention, Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, Head Start Supplemental and Keystone STARS.
Legal entities are assigned a unique 9-digit MPI number. In addition, service locations are assigned a unique 13-digit MPI number, which is created by adding a 4-digit extension to the 9-digit MPI of the legal entity. Legal entities and service providers currently participating in any of these programs should have an MPI number. Applicants that are not currently participating in any of these programs should contact the Early Learning Network (ELN) Help Desk at (877) 491-3818 and provide their Federal Tax ID to determine their MPI numbers. MPI numbers will not be able to be provided without a Federal Tax ID. If an MPI is not identified a request form will need to be completed.
Tax ID Number or Federal ID Number
This is the number that an agency uses on its federal W-9 form. Applicants for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts funds should consult with the person who handles tax, legal or accounting matters for the agency to determine the federal ID number when you check on your legal name and address.
If you have additional questions about Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, please email RA-PAPreKCounts@pa.gov.