News for Immediate Release
Oct. 22, 2013
Governor Corbett Announces Early Childhood
Tuition Assistance Program
Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett today unveiled the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program that will make it possible
for early learning educators to increase their education and thus improve the quality
of early childhood programs.
By making college
degrees a more realistic goal for nearly 2,000 early childhood educators, the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program
will enable more programs to reach high-quality Keystone STAR 3 and 4 ratings
so that more young children can receive a high-quality early learning
“One of the most
important standards for Keystone STAR 3 and 4 programs – and often the most
challenging – is meeting the educational requirements for staff,” Corbett said.
“This investment in our early childhood programs will result in brighter
futures for Pennsylvania’s young children.”
The program will
provide eligible staff in participating Keystone STARS programs up to $4,500 a
year in tuition assistance for early learning college credits or the pursuit of
a college degree in the early childhood education field.
The $5.5 million
program will make it possible for eligible staff in Keystone STARS programs to
earn credit or college degrees so they can provide higher quality early
learning experiences for young children.
assistance to early learning educators will not only improve the overall
quality of our programs but it will afford these educators the opportunity to
earn a college degree that will better prepare them to teach young learners,” Public
Welfare Secretary Beverly D. Mackereth said.
Eligible staff must
meet certain income requirements and have been employed at their Keystone STARS
participating program. The scholarship will cover 95 percent of the tuition
upfront. Eligible staff would agree to pay the balance and commit to remain at
their facility for two months for every college credit earned through the
“In addition to teacher
quality, continuity of care is also a key indicator of quality early learning
experiences for children,” Mackereth said. “We’d like to see these educators remain
at their program while they pursue their education. This will ensure that children
served by these educators receive the greatest benefit.”
In February, Corbett
announced the Rising STARS initiative to increase access to high-quality
Keystone STAR 3 and 4 programs for at-risk children. The governor’s 2013-14
budget included a $3.5 million investment for the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program in addition to a $3 million
increase for the Rising STARS initiative.
Applications will be available by November 4, 2013 on the PA Keys
website at www.pakeys.org.
For more information, visit www.pa.gov.
Media contact: Christine
Cronkright, Governor’s Office, 717-783-1116
Miller, DPW, 717-425-7606