PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) --For Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, making pre-K affordable for all city kids was a main component of his campaign.
On Thursday, he rolled out the first phase of his locally-funded, PHL Pre-K initiative.
Inside the Colombia North YMCA on North Broad Street, families learned how they can apply for one of the 2,000 new pre-K spots opening up in January.
Dozens of local schools will be selected based on need, and awarded $8,500 per student.
The plan is to fund it through the city's controversial beverage tax, but Kenney says there is a backup plan.
"We're not going to sit around and wait - kids can't wait anymore. They've waited too long, and we're moving ahead. There are contingency plans. We are not laying them out at this point, but this is a priority for us, these programs, and we are going to move forward," said Kenney.
The city also announced a new portal - a resource for Philadelphia families with children up to the age of 5.
For more information visit www.phlprek.org.