United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania was the lead agency and fiscal agent for Early to Learn: Partners for School Readiness (E2L), a five-year, $17.5 million, initiative. This project began in 2002 to address the needs of low-income children in the Philadelphia area. For the first three years, child care centers engaged in quality improvement efforts focused on the classroom learning environments. Centers were each given $30,000 for equipment, furniture, and supplies, as well as four hours of technical assistance per week. In the final two years of the Early to Learn Initiative, the charge shifted to implementing sustainability strategies. The Program Administration Scale (PAS) was used as a tool to help center administrators sustain the classroom improvements made. PAS assessments were conducted by assessors trained for reliability from St. Joe’s University. Directors received technical assistance from four different mentoring agencies based on their PAS assessments. In addition, directors received a stipend to make changes and to encourage their participation in eight monthly trainings based on different components of the PAS.
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United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania