Pennsylvania Research

Case Studies

Ever wonder what really happens in high-quality infant-toddler classrooms? The research is in, and it proves that the best early childhood programs provide safe and nurturing environments while ensuring babies develop in all domains: physical, social, emotional, and cognitive.

Collected as part of a statewide scan of exemplar programs, these five documents illustrate the elements of high-quality programs that all young children deserve. Narratives delve into teacher-child interactions, early language and literacy development, family engagement, cultural competence, staff training and professionalism, and play-based learning.

Fact Sheets

Start Strong PA state fact sheet (PDF)

The unmet child care needs of Pennsylvania’s infants and toddlers are significant. Less than half the young children across the state are in high-quality programs, while less than a quarter of child care programs in the state actually meet high-quality standards. This means more than three quarters of eligible infants and toddlers are not being served in high-quality learning environments because they are not available.

In response, Start Strong PA is asking legislators for an additional $50 million investment in state funds to ensure the healthy development of 10,000 infants and toddlers.


Local Fact Sheets & Mapping: Child Care in Pennsylvania, May 2019

Campaign partner Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children created interactive maps and local fact sheets demonstrating the unmet need and the availability of high-quality child care to meet those needs at the state, county, and legislative district levels.

The maps and fact sheets provide: a. information on the opportunity for children under age five to access high-quality child care; b. lists of local child care programs; and c. the availability of child care for children participating in Child Care Works, Pennsylvania’s subsidized child care program.


The Military Gets It; So Why Not PA? (PDF)

A generation ago, the Department of Defense developed and invested in an exemplary early care and education system for our country’s military families. Military leaders noted the changing composition of the workforce to include more women and families. Investments in high-quality early care and education was viewed as a critical workforce support so that parents could most effectively do their jobs of protecting the nation.

There is scientific consensus that brain development from birth to age five sets the stage for children’s future success. Investing in high-quality early care and education will better support working families and the citizen-readiness of our next generation.

National Research

Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University

This center conducts and analyzes the science of early brain development in order to inform investments in early childhood. Resources include videos, research, and briefs on the critical period of child development between birth and five years which form the foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health.

Shortchanging our Youngest Children: State Payment Rates for Infant Care (PDF)

This report by the National Women’s Law Center analyzes the intersection of state payment rates and affordability and access for families. The report concludes that state rates limit access to high-quality care, especially for low-income families. Changes to rates would create a system that supports all children to thrive.

Where does your child care dollar go?

This interactive tool shows the breakdown of where child care tuition goes for different age groups: infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children. The tool allows for the manipulation of various elements of quality such as teacher-child ratios, compensation for teachers, classroom size, and resources for classroom materials.