Mayor Kenney has pledged to provide free preschool to all Philadelphia 3- and 4-year-olds lacking access to high-quality options by the end of his first term.
On Tuesday, the mayor gathered with students and stakeholders at Kinder Academy — a highly rated preschool in the Northeast — to read stories and learn how to best implement his $60 million vision.
Kenney and his staff met with about a dozen people who operate some of the city's top-rated preschools, picking their brains about how to expand quality options in areas of need without duplicating service.
It was the first such formal meeting between the Kenney administration and high-quality pre-K providers.
"We're not here to supplant you, or to tell you what to do, or to change your operations," Kenney told them. "You know, better than I would ever know, how to do what you do."
Kenney aims to help high-quality providers expand, to boost the performance of those who want to do better, and to draw students from low-quality providers that, the administration says, don't have the best interests of children at heart.
"The first step is really effective coordination, a spirit of cooperation, and recognition of the difference between quality providers and the folks that are just in it to make as much money as possible, and those folks are out there," said Anne Gemmell, the mayor's new pre-K chief.