We are using cookies to give you the best experience. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in privacy settings.
AcceptPrivacy Settings

How to Apply

Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts

Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts funding is awarded on a competitive basis every five years (or when any additional funding is included in the state budget). Announcements of the competitive RFA will be communicated through Penn Link, and through the PA Early Ed News as soon as it becomes available (click here to subscribe).

For future consideration in Requests for Applications, agencies must possess the following:

Agencies interested in applying for future Pre-K Counts funding are encouraged to obtain these requirements ahead of announcements being released in addition to reading the PA Pre-K Counts 2020 Regulations & Guidance Document (PDF)

§405.11. Eligible Provider.

Pennsylvania continues to be committed to a mixed delivery system.  As such, eligible applicants include existing Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grantees and new applicants from these five eligible entity categories:

  1. School districts;
  2. PDE Licensed nursery schools;
  3. Head Start grantees;
  4. Child care centers and group child care homes designated at Keystone STAR 3 or STAR 4; and
  5. A third party entity applying for Pennsylvania Pre‐K Counts funding to administer the lead agency responsibilities for entities that are eligible to provide the classroom services under the categories listed above.

PDE encourages all eligible entities to assess community need and apply for funding to support eligible children in their communities. There is no limit to the number of slots that may be requested through this application process.

Age (three and four-year old children) and family income (at or below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines) are the primary eligibility criteria for participation in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts.  Additional priorities for enrollment should be developed at the local level and may include teen parents, migrant or seasonal students, children of a family experiencing homelessness, children involved in the child welfare system, siblings of children already enrolled in the program, English language learners, children of an incarcerated parent, or children receiving early intervention or behavioral health supports.

Applicants must have the following in place to complete an application: a Letter of Intent, a vendor number (SAP #), an administrative unit number (AUN), a master provider index number (MPI), and a federal ID number or tax ID number.

Administrative Unit Number (AUN Number)

Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts applicants will need to supply a valid AUN number within the Letter of Intent. A Letter of Intent without a valid AUN that matches the legal name of the applying entity will not be accepted. To verify your AUN number or to check to see if you have one assigned to your agency, visit EDNA. 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 (bribell@pa.gov, (717) 346-0038) or James Redd (jaredd@pa.gov) at the Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

Vendor Number (SAP #)

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 Registration selecting the Non-Procurement Registration Form.  All agencies applying for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts 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 Brian Bell (bribell@pa.gov, (717) 346-0038) or James Redd jaredd@pa.gov at the Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

Master Provider Index (MPI #)

The supplied MPI number MUST align with the legal name and address provided in the application. All Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts applicants will need an MPI number if the application is successful. The number is requested as part of the application process to ensure timely contracting for approved applications.  MPI numbers are used by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to identify legal entities and service locations that participate in any of its programs.  As such, they are used in PELICAN as a common identifier for all OCDEL 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 nine-digit MPI number. In addition, service locations are assigned a unique 13-digit MPI number, which is created by adding a four-digit extension to the nine-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 provided without a Federal Tax ID number.

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. Use the number that aligns with the legal name and address provided in this application. The correct number must be provided when requested in order to process an application.  Failure to do so will result in significant delays in funding approved applicants for FY 2019-20.  This number is often referred to as the “FEIN number” by OCDEL staff.


Note: The PA Key website and documents below are best viewed in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Both are free for download. Other browsers are not recommended.

Quick Links


  • Google Analytics

Google Analytics

This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information, including the number of visitors and most popular pages.

Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to continually improve our site.