While Philadelphia lacks high-quality early education programs all across the board, some neighborhoods need more of these high quality programs than others do, according to a report.
Only 14 percent of Philadelphia’s more than 2,000 early childhood education programs are high quality, according to an analysis by Azavea and the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children. “High quality” refers to ratings given by state and regional associations like DVAEYC and the state’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning.
Out of 2,052 early childhood education programs, 58 percent have no quality rating, said Lena Ferguson at a presentation this summer. Ferguson, a recent graduate of Bryn Mawr College, spent the summer as a fellow at Callowhill mapping firm Azavea. Each summer, Azavea holds a “Summer of Maps” program that pairs local college students and nonprofits looking for geospatial analysis.
Using DVAEYC data on the city’s early childhood education programs, as well as city and census data on other childhood risk factors (access to farmers’ markets and healthy corner stores, poverty levels and more), Ferguson created the map below.
Councilwoman Marian Tasco‘s district, the ninth district covering parts of Northwest Philadelphia, has the lowest amount of high quality early childhood education programs, according to Ferguson’s analysis. Only six percent, or 18, of the 299 programs in the ninth district qualified as high quality.
In contrast, the Council districts with the highest amount of high quality programs had 23 percent of their programs rated high quality. Those were Councilman Mark Squilla‘s first district, covering the river wards and Chinatown, and Council President Darrell Clarke‘s fifth district, covering North Philadelphia and Center City.
DVAEYC gave copies of the reports to each City Councilperson, Ferguson said.