Phone: 724.981.1884 • Fax: 724.981.4838 • Email: • 493 South Hermitage Road • Hermitage, PA  16148

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Poverty and Early Education

The children that live in poverty are most at risk to the consequences, the most severe being education. Children who are considered to be at-risk or in poverty are at a disadvantage compared to children who are not. and these children are behind the curve when they enroll in grade school. When it comes to success in school, the difference gap between at-risk and non at-risk children is growing.

What does early childhood education have to do with poverty? Everything. In today’s world education is the key to fighting poverty as on average higher levels of education earns employees better wages, making the essentials such as; rent, food, utilities, etc. more affordable and greatly increases the quality of life. Early childhood education provides the means to closing the gap for at-risk children and sets them up on the right track for success in school. Children who were enrolled in early education programs are less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to attend college.

The Success By 6™ initiative is designed to provide at-risk children with the skills necessary to succeed in school and lift themselves out of poverty.


General Facts about Early Childhood Education

– Only 36% of children under the age of five participate in publicly funded quality early education programs. (PA State Average)

– Research shows that 85% of a child’s brain is developed by the age of 5 – On average Economically Disadvantaged Children 3 years old know only 500 words compared to Economically Advantaged Children 3 years old know almost 1100 words.

– Without Quality Preschool, an at-risk child is; 25% more likely to drop out of school, 60% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime, and 70% more likely to never attend college.


United Way of Mercer County supports programs that help ensure people’s most basic needs of; food, shelter, health, and safety when they are temporarily without. When individuals and families alike are unable to meet these immediate needs it becomes far more difficult to focus on long-term goals such as; employment, housing, or education. Basic needs services are crucial in the effort to help those back onto their feet and on the road to self-sufficiency and success.