Kari King • President and CEO, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children

On the first Thursday of each month (or close to it), the eNews feature article highlights the mission focus for the month. In August we’re lifting up Education of Children. The Mission & Peace Committee has supported Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (PPC) for many years. They value PPC’s continued advocacy for the health and education for the children in our state. This letter from Kari King confirms the value of Derry Church continuing its support of the organization in the future.

As the statewide, nonpartisan, nonprofit child advocacy organization with a vision to ensure every child living in Pennsylvania can thrive and reach their full potential, PPC focuses its efforts on ensuring that: 

  • Children and their families have access to affordable, high-quality child care and pre-k.
  • Children can access an adequate and equitable high-quality public education.
  • Each pregnant woman and child has access to affordable, quality health care. 
  • Children can grow up in a home where they are safe and protected from abuse and neglect.

Our work across policy issues is centered in four key strategies: analyze and interpret data to inform our policy work as well as conduct high-quality research; work with stakeholder partners at various coalition tables to raise advocate voices; serve as an objective resource for the media on policies impacting kids; and educate policymakers at the state and federal levels on both sides of the aisle.

We are especially proud of recent accomplishments achieved through our advocacy work, including:

  • A total increase in funding for pre-k of $79 million in the 2022-23 state budget – the largest in its history since the Pre-K Counts program was enacted in 2007. In the past eight years, pre-k programs have seen 187% growth in state support, currently serving over 65,000 eligible children statewide and over 1,600 in Dauphin County.
  • For child care, funding in the 2022-23 state budget to support the sector’s workforce with $2,500 one-time recruitment and retention bonuses (using $90 million in federal stimulus funds) and an additional $25 million in state funding to increase eligibility for the Child Care Works subsidy program up to 300% of the federal poverty level, helping working families afford child care.
  • Historic investments for K-12 education funding, which in addition to a $750 million increase for basic education also included additional support for special education and career and technical education, as well as $200 million for grant programs split between school-based mental health services and physical safety needs.  

In the remaining months of the year, we are excited to focus on some federal work, with reauthorization needed of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, or MIECHV, in US Congress. Often referred to simply as “home visiting,” these programs pair families looking for additional support and mentoring with their parenting skills with trained professionals such as nurses or social workers. These customized services impact outcomes ranging from improved child health, improved early childhood literacy, and improved family economic self-sufficiency to reduced instances of child abuse and neglect. 

PPC truly appreciates your support of the work we do. Without it, we would not be advocates on behalf of Pennsylvania’s children.