ABOVE PHOTO: Mayor jim Kenney and Khadijah Sabir of Lovie Lee’s Stars of Tomorrow in North Philly.
Over the last two months, Mayor Jim Kenney and staff from the Office of Education have engaged with pre-K teachers, parents, center owners and directors from 109 early childhood education providers across Philadelphia.
To date, the pre-K provider community has convened at seven roundtable discussions to hear the Mayor’s vision for increasing up to 10,000 quality, publicly-funded pre-K seats for three- and four-year-olds in need. Participants offered valuable feedback on the Mayor’s proposed plan, and expressed overwhelming support to help make pre-K expansion a reality.
Khadijah Sabir of Lovie Lee’s Stars of Tomorrow, a STAR 4-rated group provider in West Oak Lane, convened close to 60 participants representing community-based centers, group care and family programs.
“I often host pre-K provider meetings so our community can network, discuss best practices, and share resources,” Khadijah said. “So many participants called me the following day to say it was the best meeting so far. This community appreciated the opportunity to hear the City’s plan. We are excited to have a Mayor recognize the importance of quality early childhood education and we’re going to support him any way that we can.”
“Public input about pre-K is critical,” Kenney said. “My administration is committed to increasing access to quality pre-K, but we certainly can’t do it alone. We need the knowledge of experienced practitioners who do this work every day in order for this initiative to succeed.”
The next pre-K provider roundtable discussion will be held at Esperanza, 4261 N. 5th Street, on April 13th at 4:00pm. Participants interested in attending can reserve a seat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To stay informed of pre-K updates or to get involved, sign-up at www.phila.gov/qualityprek.