This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania’s protracted budget negotiations stalled the expansion of new pre-kindergarten seats across the state this year.
On Tuesday, one high-quality center in Far Northeast Philadelphia finally celebrated its delayed opening.
State funds earmarked for pre-K expansion were released in late December, but logistics delayed the highly rated provider SPIN from opening a new 80-seat school in Parkwood until this month.
"Because we had a late start in the year, families had to find programs elsewhere. They might not be a free, high-quality preschool such as what we have here," said Kathy Brown McHale, SPIN’s president and CEO.
Based on the midyear start, the school has 26 vacant seats. It hopes to get state approval to grow to serve 120 children by next school year.