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Have You Discovered Pittsburgh Public Schools Pre-K Programs?

Discover Early Childhood Education
The Early Childhood Education Program of Pittsburgh Public Schools has 90 classrooms serving students ages three to five throughout the District. Patti Bartolli has taught toddlers at the District's Children's Museum location for almost a decade, and her class discovers new things daily.  

“We can use the museum for different skills and topics that we are learning in the classroom,” said Patti Bartolli. “For example, when we are doing the vehicles unit, we can go down to the garage exhibit and show the children a vehicle. They can touch the vehicle and play in it. If the museum has any events going on, they let us be part of those events. I’ve gotten to meet authors in the past. Right now, there is a cooking series going on, so we take the children down to the theater for the show. We got to go to Mister Roger’s birthday party and visit with Mr. McFeely. The children get to do different things.”


All children enrolled in Pittsburgh Public Schools Early Childhood Education programs get to do lots of “different things” as well, thanks to the District’s large circle of community partners.

“There are lots of ways that children learn, so we want to expose our children to every enrichment activity possible,” said Carol Barone-Martin, the Executive Director of the Early Childhood Education Department. “We live in a city that values the arts and thrives in the fields of math and science. That’s why we've established relationships with partners, including the Carnegie museums, libraries and Gateway to the Arts. That supports the child’s growth. Some students may not otherwise have these opportunities outside of our classroom.”


Currently, each classroom has no more than twenty students taught by two teachers. One is a certified staff member, and the other is an assistant. In addition, volunteer “grandmothers” help out at various locations.

“We make sure that our teachers have the background that you would want for your children. Just as kindergarten teachers are certified to teach, our teachers are certified by Pennsylvania State certification. In addition to that, we provide on-going training, so that they continue to get better at their craft. We find that teaching three to five-year-old children is just as important as teaching any group of children.”
The children are taught everything they need to know to continue their journey through the school system. When they leave preschool, they should be ready to succeed in other schools.

“We use the Pittsburgh Public schools preschool curriculum, which goes right into the kindergarten curriculum. They have all of the academics—language arts, math, English, science and social studies. We also teach social skills and language skills—speaking in sentences, being able to follow directions and how to cooperate with one another in a school environment. Most students know how to write their name. They can say the days of the week, the months of the year, their birthdays, the alphabet, numbers 1-10, phone numbers, colors and shapes,” said Bartolli. 
The majority of the Early Childhood Education programs operate six hours each day. Starting in the 2013-14 school year, five locations began offering after school care: Pittsburgh: Brookline (Brookline), Colfax (Squirrel Hill), Morrow (North Side), Phillips (South Side) and Crescent Early Childhood Center (Homewood).

Students can get help with homework, participate in age-appropriate activities and experience unique offerings, such as visits from our community partners.
“We want to meet the unique needs of our parents,” said Darlene McIntosh, Fiscal Coordinator of the Early Childhood Education Department. “That’s why we are offering extended hours at five convenient locations. The program is safe, structured and fun.”
Enroll Now 
Applications for the 2014-15 school year are currently being accepted. Families may download an application here or call (412) 325-4291 to request an application packet. If there is a greater interest in once location than space is available, a lottery will be held for those locations.  To learn more about the lottery process click here.    
Families interested in the Early Childhood Education Department's after school program can apply by clicking here, or they can contact the Early Childhood Education Department at (412) 325-4291 for addition information. 

Mom Bloggers Share Stories About Pittsburgh Public Schools Early Childhood Educational Opportunities

The District teamed up with local moms, to tell our story and promote the importance of an early childhood education. They went to work writing about their personal experiences, their new knowledge about Pittsburgh Public Schools and what they wanted out of preschool and after school programs.  Here's what they had to say:

Robin Beckham, an adoptive mother of two and creator of Pittsburgh Urban Media, shares how preschool and after school programs are the solution to a working mothers daycare dilemma.  

Nadine Champsi of Pittsburgh Mommy Blog writes about making the tough decision to drop out of a top ranked residency program to care for her daughter full-time, since childcare was an expensive option.

Chaton Turner of Chaton's World talked to her readers about why she selected Pittsburgh Public Schools as her daughter's preschool prgram this school year. A coprorate attorney who balances work and family in high heels also shared why the PPS programs meet working mothers' needs.  

Stephanie from When Crazy Meets Exhaustion has a humorous take on a serious subject--the crazy cost of childcare and the perfect preschool.   

Christine Hutchinson and Janene Kraci are More Than Mommies! And they know more than most people about picking preschools! Heather Coleman, mother of Twins and blogger at My Tales With Two, confesses that her anxiety about sending two children to preschool at the same time is finally being eased. 

Cynthia Medoza and Diamonta Hazlett recently launched Pittsburgh Brown Mommys with a mission to inform mothers (and fathers!) about how to give children a high-quality life in Pittsburgh.  And guess where Diamonte sent her children to school? 

Jacquie-Dudt-Mulzet, a new mom enjoying The Sweeter Side of Motherhood, tells parents the ten things she asks every daycare or preschool before enrolling her child.  Says you should too!

Deesha Phillywaw, author of the nonfiction book and website Co-parenting 101: Helping Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce, teaches families how an after school option means more parenting time with your child, even if it is not your custodial week.  

Becky Willis, a working mom raising 'Lil Burgers with her stay-at-home husband, shares how the PPS program, gives children the skills they need to succeed in school.    

Kelly Hughes, head honcho at Pgh Momtourage, spends her days planning events for families and searching for the best services in the Burgh. She shares why PPS is now on her Pittsburgh picks.