ECE ADVOCATES Sign-On Letter to the General Assembly

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ECE ADVOCATES Sign-On Letter to the General Assembly

May 5, 2008

The Honorable Robert Regola

    Senate of Pennsylvania

    188 Main Capitol Building

    Senate Box 203039

    Harrisburg, PA 17120

Dear Senator Regola:

    The undersigned organizations and individuals, representing a wide array of early childhood education providers and supporters, respectfully urge you to make investing in high quality early education and care for Pennsylvania’s children an integral part of the Commonwealth’s 2008-2009 General Fund Budget.

    Pennsylvania has made great strides in recent years in funding high quality early education and care for our children. State funded programs such as Child Care Works, Head Start, Keystone STARS and Pre-K Counts promote high quality learning environments. These programs are true investments in Pennsylvania's future. They create and promote successful students, successful communities and are good for the Commonwealth as a whole. However, we need to do more.

    Child Care Works keeps Pennsylvania's working families working and helps them afford quality child care for their children. The annual cost of child care for infants and toddlers is double the cost of one year’s tuition at one of Pennsylvania’s public colleges or universities. It is important that low-income working parents have the assistance

    they need to remain employed and to ensure their child is being cared for in a quality setting while they are at work.

    Pennsylvania’s nationally recognized Keystone STARS program is making a difference. Keystone STARS is improving child care quality and helping parents make good child care choices. Evaluation reports show that Keystone STARS is reversing a negative trend in child care quality. Participating programs show higher quality than at the inception of STARS, and programs in Keystone STARS have higher quality than the Pennsylvania average.

    We support the Governor’s proposed investment of $48.8 million in the improvement of child care programs through Keystone STARS and increased access to child care subsidies through Child Care Works. However, even with this investment over 8,000 children remain on the child care subsidy waiting list. We urge the General Assembly to support an additional $9 million investment in next year’s budget that will reduce this waiting list by a total of 4,000 children.

    Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts is providing high-quality pre-K to over 11,000 children across the Commonwealth who are at risk of education failure - giving them the tools they need to succeed in school and life. Research overwhelmingly backs public investments in high-quality pre-K investments that can yield short-term education

    savings ranging from $0.78 to $1.16 for every $1 invested, and long-term public savings as high as $17 for every $1 invested. By December 2007, Pre-K Counts sites had waiting lists of over 2,200 children. Still, just twenty percent of Pennsylvania’s over 442,000 three- and four-year olds have access to publicly funded, high quality pre-K programs. We support the Governor’s 2008-2009 budget proposal to increase funding for Pennsylvania Pre-K

    Counts by $12.6 million in order to serve an additional 1,000 children.

    As you begin the challenging task of negotiating the fiscal year 2008-2009 budget, we respectfully ask that you remember the powerful impact investments in early childhood education and care programs have on Pennsylvania’s children, their families and the future of the Commonwealth.

    Pennsylvania has proven itself a national leader in its investments and system building in early childhood education and care over the last five years. With your assistance, commitment, and leadership Pennsylvania will continue to have the resources to prepare its youngest children for success into the future.


The Organizations and individuals whose names appear on the following pages.

21st Century AfterSchool Program YCSD Allegheny Intermediate Unit

    Sharon Ritter, 21st Century Program Director Barbara Minzenberg, Sr. Program Director Early

     Childhood Education 21st Century Community Learning Center - Greene Chris Rodgick, Head Start Director Betty Anderson, Director Patricia Murphy, Pre-K Counts Director

    Siri Laur, Preschool Teacher 4 Kids Early Learning Center Donna Taylor, Teacher Shia Moore Kellie Wilker, Early Learning Consultant Sharon Newsom Penny Cordera, Early Learning Consultant

    Wanda Gary, Early Learning Consultant A Childrens Place Learning Center Lisa Gazzo, Early Learning Consultant Melissa Pagotto Darla Grant, Aide

    A Child's World Developmental Center's, Inc Almost Angels Christian Child Care Ron Seidman Linda Johnston

    A Child's World Early Age Learning Center Alphabet Alley Child Care Center Tina Kearney Debbie Pape Sheree Ostrow

    Andrea Seidman Alphabet Corner Child Care

    Rose Cramer A Mothers Touch

    Cheryl Moss, Director/Owner Altoona Area School District

    Cheryl Tyler, Program Director Aa to Zz Child Care and Learning Center

    Yvonne Countryman American Friends' Service Committee Maryann Huzvar Roberta Spivek, National Representative for Michele Rankin Economic Justice

     ABC for Children American Montessori Society Debra Pratt, Administrator Marie Conti, Sr. Director of Accreditation Aboard Amy Pyshers Child Care Center A Carrick, Supports Coordinator Amy Pysher

    Action Coach Apple of My Eye Day Care Henry Sinopoli Mary Buzard, Bonnie Johnson Adams Family Child Care Appletree Child Care Center Treana Adams, Owner/Operator Bob Borenstein, Owner

    Adventure Time Day Care Armstrong Co. Head Start Tracy Hall Hill, Owner Cheryl Watson, Teacher

    Albert Gallatin Area School District AVEA Veronica Murray, Principal Jan Michaels, Teacher

    Aldersgate Preschool Barb's Care-A-Lot Joyce Reardon Barbara Gainer, Director

    All Aboard Day Care & Learning Center Be At Home Child Care, LLC Anna Carasone-Granes, Director Peter Carioto

    All Kids Are Special Childcare and LearningCenter Beaver County Early Care & Learning Council Cheryl Rometo-Gartley, Owner/Director/Pre-K Darcy Stiteler, CEG Coordinator Counts Coordinator

    Cheryl Latour, Teacher Assistant Beaver County Head Start Cynthia Stenger, Pre-K Teacher Kathleen Barrett, Assistant Group Supervisor

    Dana Norman, Assistant Teacher Allegheny County Head Start

    Mickey Bradley, Administrative Officer

    Begin With Us Child Care and Preschool Butler County Children's Center, Inc.

    Jolie Cover, Owner Rebecca Barker

    Laurette Myers Beginning with Books

    Tess Riesmeyer, Associate Director of Early Butler County Early Care and Educational Council

     Literacy Education Julie Thumma, Coordinator

    Sandi Koebler, Director Training

    Butler YMCA Child Care Donna Bevan, Outreach Specialist

    Rachel Hinch Mary Ellen Dudick, Outreach Specialist

     Butterfly Garden Beginnings Calvary Episcopal Church Angie Marshall, Program Director Margret Morycz, Director

     C. Riv's Precious Children, Inc. Behavioral Health Consulting Group Portia Lewis, Director Amber West, Owner

    CADCOM Berwick Area United Way Rick Beaton, Executive Director Joy E. McGinnis, CEO

    Cambria County CEG Bethel Preschool & Daycare Oriana Poruban, Program Coordinator Amanda Sheaffer, Day Care Director

    Cameron/Elks MH MR Program Beulah Christian Preschool Cynthia Zembryki, Administrator Evelyn Hellwig

    Camp Speers Elijabar YMCA Big Mom's Day Care Home Faith Hudson, School Age Child Care Program Barbara Allison Patricia Leggio

    Bostley's Preschool and Learning Centers Inc. Capital Area Early Childhood Training Institute Vanessa Holmes Leslie Rapsey, ECMH Consultant,

    Barbara Willier Boys & Girls Club of Central PA

    George Caldwell, Executive Director Capital Area Head Start

    Vikki Weems, Site Support Specialist Boys & Girls Club of Philadelphia Melanie Heller Jason Newman

    Care To Learn Child Dev. Center Bright Beginning Day Care Sylvester Okolo Mary Lou Pfau

    Carlow University Bright Beginnings CDC Roberta Schomburg, Associate Dean, School of Jessica Johnston Education

     Bright Beginnings Family Child Care Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Tia Burns, Owner/Operator

    Leticia Wincko, Assistant Children's Manager Brightside Aacdemy Julia G. Kant, Librarian

    Carla Malloy, Assistant Group Supervisor Kathy Maron-Wood, Librarian

    Francyne Wharton Georgene DeFilippo, Youth Services Coordinator

    Sarah Horn Heather LeVeck, Early Learning Outreach Bucks County Quality Child Care Coalition Carriage House Children's Center

    Patricia Miller, Coordinator Claudia Saitz, Program Director

    Sharon Amick, Assistant Director Building Blocks Child Development Center Wendy Chapin, Teacher

    Deborah Hayman Susan Hamon, Teacher

    Donna Lenkner, Teacher Busy Bees Learning Center Maureen Riley, Teacher Cynthia Hyppolite

    CAT - Brandywine

    Zenia McAllister, Teacher

    Catholic Social Services Day Care Children's Coalition of the Lehigh Valley

    Kathleen Trishman Kathryn Hoffman, Board Member

    John V. Reynolds, Professor of Political Science Celtic Lands

    Anne Nelson, Member Children's Creative Learning Center

    Judith Zuzack, Director

    Center for Arts and Technology - Pickering Campus

    Barbara Hanlon, Cooperative Education Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

     Coordinator Lois Winslow, Director of Education

    Center for Developmental Disabilities Children's Palace LLC

    Mignon Reisky Lynnette Ryman, Director/Owner

    Center for Schools and Communities Children's School

    Kelly Riley, Research and Evaluation Specialist Sharon M. Carven, Director

    Centre County Youth Services Bureau Children's Village at Doylestown Hospital

    Theresa Kieffer, Program Director Jane Mahler, Director

    Chandler Hall Child Development Program Children's Wonderland

    Laura Hudson, Child Development Program Diana Walck, Director

     Director Childspace CDI Janet Filante, Program Coordinator Child Care

    Roberta Bauer, Owner/Director Childspace Management Group

    Susan Kavchok Child Care Information Services of Blair County

    Michelle Zitsch Chinatown Learning Center

    Carol Wong Child Care Information Services of Luzerne Co.

    Kathleen Moyer John Hogan, Director

    Choplick Child Care Child Development and Family Council of Centre County

    Jeanne Choplick Paula Thornbloom, Program Administrator

    Citizens for Nazareth Child Development, Inc

    Lawrence Hohner Mary Ann Devlin, Representative

    Georgine Joyce, IT Support Cityspace Gina Gargano, Community Engagement Connie Rought Coordinator

    Annie Haslam, Assistant Teacher Clearfield Area United Way

    Nancy Pinto, Chief Prof. Officer Childcare Training Solutions

    Carolyn Griess, Owner Cleveland Tyheshia

    Tyheshia Cleveland, Elementary Curriculum Children Central Childcare Learning Center Specialist Jane Sokolowski

    CLI Children First Child Care & Learning Center Jacqueline Macey, Project Coordinator Monica Walker, Owner/Director

    Columbia Child Development Program Children's Aid Society Becky Aardweg, Health/Nutrition Mgr. Janet Biss

    Rhonda Carfley Communities In Schools of Philadelphia, Inc. Amanda Clark Linda Meade, Assistant Vice President Teresa Guaglianone

    Angela Hassinger Communities In Schools of the Laurel Highlands, Inc. Sheila Millinder Mickie Eberhart, Executive Director Melissa Sloppy

    Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley Danville Child Development Center

    Shalynda Morton, Program Manager Amy James

    Marlana Francis Community College of Allegheny County Child Rebecca Breech Development Center Diana Dixon Nancy Daller, Director Lori Rabb Betty Borello, Assistant Director Ruthann Reilly


     Donna Cathie, Teacher Dare Enterprises, Inc.

     Patricia McKissick, Teacher of 3's Brenda Dare

    Community Justice Project Dawn to Dusk

    Peter Zurflieh, Attorney Karen Faust

    Rebecca Phelps

    Community Progress Council

    Margaret Wilt, Teacher Day Care Centers, Inc.

    Sandra Kaufmann, Administrator