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Local public awareness and support is critical to providing Pennsylvania’s young children with access to quality early education. When communities value early education, more families become aware of available services and decision makers recognize quality early education is a priority for public investment.

Why Community Education?

  • You have something that most people – especially those who decide funding for early education –don’t have; a true understanding of early education, why it works, and how it’s helping children and families in your community. 

    • You understand why early education teachers have such a demanding and rewarding job and need specialized education and training, or why a child’s social development is as important as learning to read.
    • You can tell the stories of families who struggled to provide care for their children before they had access to programs like Child Care Works or PA Pre-K Counts, or how participating in quality early education made such a difference in a child’s life. Or, better yet, you can help those families tell their story.

    Our Governor, legislators, and school leaders need to understand that access to quality early education is crucial for children to come to school ready to learn and succeed through life. You can educate them like no one else can.

    What is Community Education?

    Community education is reaching out to school and community leaders, legislators and the Governor to share the successes of children, families and teachers in your program. Activities can be as simple as sharing a child’s photo and story, or as high profile as speaking at a leadership event.

    For example, any time you have a success at your program, you can send a letter to your legislator and press release to media announcing the good news, such as:

    • Joining STARS or moving up a STAR level
    • Teachers and other program staff receiving awards, CDA, or other credential, or college degree
    • Former student from your program succeeding in school, winning an award or some other honor
    • Special activities for families, such as family workshops or family fairs

    As you plan your program’s activities throughout the year, think:

    • Should I invite legislators that represent our families?
    • Do we have local businesses that are family-friendly that might want to attend? 
    • Would this event help show to our local school principals or superintendent how our program is getting children ready for kindergarten?


    Pennsylvania’s Local Education and Resource Network (LEARN) partners conduct community outreach in their local communities and work with organizations and individuals interested in quality early education. LEARN partners can bring together early childhood programs, families, school districts, and child-serving organizations to assess what quality early learning programs are currently available in the community and to develop ways to encourage quality early learning.  They may also work with school districts and community-based early learning programs to develop ways to make smooth transition from preschool to kindergarten for children, families, and teachers. Find your LEARN lead and discover how you can become involved.

    OCDEL Community Education Resources can help you communicate the value of quality early education and your program. Visit the Tools & Resources page.

    Pennsylvania's Promise for Children is a statewide campaign to raise awareness about the importance of quality early education in a young child's life and motivate everyone to learn, get involved, and tell their story.
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