Great Learning

Overcoming Financial Barriers to Expanding High-Quality Early Care & Education in Southeastern Pennsylvania

This report sheds light on the financial, business and systematic realities affecting the supply of high-quality programs. How can the field address how the ECE system is currently capitalized (and under-capitalized)?

High-quality early care and education (ECE) programs have been proven to create positive learning outcomes among children—especially among those living in poverty. Yet many low-income children have a hard time accessing quality child care settings and miss the critical developmental growth and foundation needed for academic and life success. According to Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, only 23% of children who receive public child care subsidies attend a “high-quality” ECE program, as defined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as quality designation “STAR 3” and “STAR 4.”

In 2013, NFF embarked on a multi-pronged study of 147 ECE providers to assess the financial challenges of operating high-quality ECE programs. In this report, NFF highlights the key financial, business, and systemic barriers to delivering high-quality programs—with a focus on nonprofit ECE programs serving the Philadelphia Region’s most vulnerable children.

Published: July 2015
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