Despite COVID-19, Philadelphia's pre-K program is now enrolling for the fall

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The city's PHLpreK program, which funds free pre-K at more than 130 locations, is now enrolling 3- and 4-year-olds for the fall.

Officials said the pre-K program will enroll up to 3,300 students for the 2020-2021 school year. Classes will begin in late August or early September.

"All children deserve to have great early education regardless of their family's income or zip code-and PHLpreK offers just that," said Mayor Jim Kenney. "We can't allow the pandemic to take safe, quality learning experiences away from our kids, especially at the most critical stage in their development. I'm proud that we are continuing to offer this opportunity for Philadelphia's youngest learners and their families."

In order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for students, staff, and families, providers will follow reopening guidance from the City of Philadelphia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the state's Office of Child Development and Early Learning, according to a news release.

This guidance includes masks, social distancing and containment strategies, and new cleaning protocols.

Children who will be 3 or 4 by September 1 are eligible for the program. PHLpreK is funded by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax.
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