SRU/SGA Preschool and Child Care Center receives Pre-K Counts funding

student teaching a pre-schooler

The Slippery Rock University/Student Government Association Preschool and Child Care Center was selected as a recipient of a $297,500 grant through Pennsylvania’s Pre-K Counts program.

Sept. 11, 2018

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Local children will continue to benefit from educational resources at Slippery Rock University thanks to a state grant that has been awarded for the 12th consecutive year. The SRU/Student Government Association Preschool and Child Care Center was again selected as a recipient of funding through Pre-K Counts, a program administered by the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

This year's grant, worth $297,500, will ensure continued access to high quality pre-kindergarten classes for area children.

"Research supports that high-quality early education yields significant long-term benefits," said Lisa Ringer, who has served as the center's director for the last 28 years. "Pre-K Counts funding allows us to focus on quality -- the quality of our staff and the quality of instruction -- to ensure the children enrolled in our classrooms are given the tools for success in kindergarten and beyond."

Located in the McKay Education Building, the SRU/SGA Preschool and Child Care Center was established in 1978 as an extension of the educational lab school and has evolved into a full-day, year-round preschool and child care for children ages 3-12. Today, the center serves more than 100 area children, and is staffed by three full-time teachers who are assisted by SRU students. Nearly 30 SRU graduate and undergraduate students work at the center, either assisting with classes or working with children enrolled in before- or after-school programs.

"Our proximity to the College of Education and the support from the University are advantages that we appreciate," Ringer said. "Faculty serve as key resources and support for our program, and we provide their students with hands-on learning experiences through employment opportunities, observations and access to preschool classroom environments for experiential learning."

The Pre-K Counts program is intended to make quality pre-kindergarten opportunities available to children and families across the commonwealth. The program is based on quality standards adopted for pre-kindergarten by the State Board of Education and aims to give every child a strong start in school and in life.

"We share a vision that closely aligns with the University to excel as a caring community that gives every child a foundation for life-long learning and wonderment about the world," Ringer said. "The collaboration between the center and the College of Education, particularly the Elementary Education and Early Childhood Department, is a win-win."

The center is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, it is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and it is one of only six sites in Butler County with a STAR 4 rating in the state's Keystone STARS rating system for child-care facilities.

For more information, contact Lisa Ringer at lisa.ringer@sru.edu or call the center at 724.738.2102.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 | justin.zackal@sru.edu