The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has released the competitive 2023-24 Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts (PA PKC) Request for Applications (RFA).

This is a full, competitive rebid opportunity to disperse all available funding to select eligible grantees for a five-year grant period beginning in FY 2023-24. All FY 2022-23 Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grantees wishing to serve children in FY 2023-2024 MUST apply as part of this competitive rebid process. In addition, applications from those seeking to become new Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grantees will be reviewed.

This RFA is intended to support providers in preparing to serve and enroll children by September 2023. The RFA is being released in March 2023 to give providers time to conduct outreach to families; recruit, hire and train staff; and plan for implementing the program pending grant approval.

Applicants must submit Letters of Intent to by 3 PM on March 28, 2023. Only applicants that submit a complete Letter of Intent by the deadline may apply for funding. 


Pennsylvania is committed to ensuring that all children begin school ready to learn and succeed in their schooling careers, as lifelong learners, and productive citizens. Research confirms what most parents already know: all children can tap into their innate potential to learn when they receive high-quality instruction that takes into consideration what is known about brain development and how young children learn. Early childhood education is a proven strategy that ensures a child’s readiness for school and school success.

Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts (PA PKC) was established by Act 45 of 2007 (Article XV-D(b) of the Public School Code, and amended in 2008 and 2019) to expand the number of children able to experience a pre-kindergarten program of high quality. 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. Early education through PA PKC can open the doors of opportunity for every child to do well in school, in the workforce, and in life.


These guidelines and application process detail a full, competitive rebid opportunity to disperse all available funding to select eligible grantees for a five-year grant period beginning in FY 2023-24. All FY 2022-23 Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grantees wishing to serve children in FY 2023-2024 MUST apply as part of this competitive rebid process. In addition, applications from those seeking to become new Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grantees will be reviewed.

The ceiling or limit on the potential number of slots that may be awarded to any applicant will depend upon a county’s unmet need percentages and the amount of funding available. Funding is contingent upon approval by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Grants are funded via state dollars and, therefore, carryover funds are not permitted. All grant dollars identified in this FY 2023-24 application must be encumbered or spent by June 30, 2024.

Eligible applicants must provide assurance that they operate in full compliance with Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Statute, Regulations, and Guidance. Applicants should thoroughly review Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Statute, Regulations, and Guidance and are encouraged to view the “Getting to Know PA PKC Rebid Webinar Series” posted below prior to submission of a Letter of Intent to apply to ensure an understanding of the program requirements and expectations of compliance if an application is successful. The application review process will include evaluation of the extent to which the applicant demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the PA PKC statute and regulations.

Required Letter of Intent

Interested applicants must submit a fully completed by 3 pm on March 28, 2023 to

Because of the need to establish access to the eGrants procurement system, applicants must submit a completed Letter of Intent to apply for funds using the template posted at PKC How to Apply. The Letter of Intent represents the applicant’s intent to apply for PA PKC funding and must include the legal name of the eligible entity that will apply, the AUN associated with the applying legal entity’s proposed PA PKC provider type, preliminary information about requested funding, program model, provider type, and area to be served. Except for the legal entity and AUN, information submitted in the Letter of Intent may be modified in the final eGrants application.

Programs that do not submit the Letter of Intent will not be able to access or submit a funding application in eGrants. Late submissions will not be accepted. Applicants submitting a fully complete Letter of Intent  to by 3 PM on March 28, 2023 will be notified when the PA PKC application is open in eGrants.

Applicants must obtain the following to be considered for funding:

§ 405.11. Eligible Provider.

An eligible provider may apply for a grant alone or in combination with other eligible providers as a joint applicant, in which case the entity that applies for the grant shall be the lead agency in a partnership, as defined in § 405.2 (relating to definitions).

Guidance and Clarifications

The following entities may operate Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts classrooms.

  1. School districts;
  2. PDE Licensed nursery schools;
  3. Head Start grantees;
  4. Child care centers and group child care homes designated a Keystone STAR 3 or STAR 4; and
  5. 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.


The supplied vendor number MUST align with the legal name and address provided in the application. A vendor number and account can be set up by registering at Vendor Number RegistrationAll agencies applying for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts (PKC) grants must be pre-registered. The Central Vendor Management Unit is a storage database. The Comptroller uses this account to store direct deposit information. If you have any questions about vendor numbers, please contact James Redd (, (717) 705-2910) or Brian Bell (, (717) 346-0038) at OCDEL.


Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts applicants will need to supply a valid AUN number within the REQUIRED Letter of Intent and application. To verify your AUN number or to check to see if you have one assigned to your agency, click here. 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 (, (717) 346-0038) or James Redd ( at the Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

Master Provider Index Number

Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts applicants will need a Master Provider Index (MPI) number during the application process. MPI numbers are used across the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) to identify legal entities and service locations that participate in any of  its programs. As such, they are used in DHS’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 DHS) programs, including Child Care Licensing, Early Intervention, Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program, 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, option 2 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. Agencies who the ELN Help Desk determines do not have an MPI assigned, will be directed to include zeros within the application when MPI is requested. If awarded, these agencies will be provided an MPI at time of contracting.

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. Use this number where requested in the application. The correct number must be provided where requested in order to process an application. Failure to do so will result in significant delays in funding approved applicants for FY 2023-24. This number is often referred to as the “FEIN number” by OCDEL staff.

eGrants Electronic Signature (eSignature)

OCDEL recommends the use of an electronic signature (eSignature) on all grant agreements for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and community agencies with a Board of Directors. This option is not a requirement, and a print, sign and upload option is always available regardless of agency type. The use of an eSignature allows grants to proceed through the approval process faster and helps with expediting payments. School Districts, Intermediate Units, and community agencies with a Board of Directors can use eSignature. If the agency does not fall under one of these categories they may not be eligible for this option and will have to print, sign and return contracting documents.

NOTE: To check if your agency has eSignature, the Agency User Administrator can look at their users within the eGrants system in the User Management tab to see if their signatory has eSignature.

Go to the “Administration Tab”. Click on “User Management”. If a user has eSignature, a person icon will appear in the “E Sig” Box.


A User can go to the “blue snowman” to look at their profile and user roles. This can be found in the “upper right hand corner” of the page.

If you have specific questions related to eSignature please contact Winnie Richards via email or call (717) 772-4849.

eGrants migration to MyPDESuite

The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s eGrants Grants Management system provides licensed education agencies and community-based programs with online access to grant applications. To access eGrants, login to MyPDESuite to gain access to your eGrants Account.

Pre-application Webinar  

A pre-application webinar was held on Friday, March 17, 2023, from 9am to 1pm. Watch the recording of this webinar on YouTube ( This webinar was held to assist interested applicants in the completion of their PreK Counts grant application. The webinar includes information on the application process and program requirements.

Quick Links

NOTE: The Pennsylvania Key website and documents below are best viewed in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Both browsers are free for download and other browsers are not recommended.

  1. 2023 PA Pre-K Counts Letter of Intent (PDF)
  2. Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Statute, Regulations and Guidelines, Effective July 1, 2022 (PDF)
  3. 2023 PA Pre-K Counts Statute, Regulations & Guidelines Document (PDF)
  4. 2023 PA Pre-K Counts Request for Application Guidance (PDF)
  5. 2023 PA Pre-K Counts RFA Freqently Asked Questions (FAQ) (PDF) [Updated 04/18/2023]
  6. 2023 PA Pre-K Counts Partner Letter of Commitment Template(PDF)
  7. Worker Protection Form (DOCX)
  8. Worker Protection/Contractor Grantee Notice (DOCX)
  9. Grant Structure Excel Sheet (XLSX)
  10. PA Pre-K Counts Fiscal Supplement (PDF)
  11. Line Item Budget Template (XLSX)
  12. PA Poverty Levels by Zip Code (XLSX)
  13. 2022 Annual Federal Poverty Guidelines (PDF)
  14. 2023 Annual Federal Poverty Guidelines (PDF)
  15. Pennsylvania Learning Standards for Early Childhood
  16. Getting To Know PA Pre-K Counts Rebid Webinar Series Recordings