Extensive research points to the positive impact of high-quality early childhood education. Unfortunately, demand continues to outpace investment: Today, 64% of Pennsylvania children eligible for publicly-funded slots remain unable to access them due to lack of funding, while community-based child care centers operate on razor-thin margins, struggle to adequately compensate staff, and have limited administrative capacity.
To address these problems, communities across the country are seeking to combine the benefits of existing early childhood programs with the resources and capacities of public school districts. This report examines implementation of one such model in Pittsburgh Public Schools. We conclude that the benefits outweigh the challenges–and the city is well-positioned to scale up.