Longietti honored for Early Childhood Education Caucus leadership

Named ‘2020 Legislative Champion’ by state education advocates

HERMITAGE, Oct. 19 – State Rep. Mark Longietti is being honored this evening as a “Legislative Champion” by state education advocates for his work as chairman of Pennsylvania’s bipartisan, bicameral Early Childhood Education Caucus. 

Longietti, D-Mercer, said his leadership role with the caucus is focused on ensuring that the interests of Pennsylvania’s at-risk children remain a top legislative priority.

“Early education programs benefit young children a hundred different ways beyond the ABCs,” Longietti said. “They make a huge difference in helping kids develop the skills that determine success later in life, from forming friendships and working with peers to developing creative thinking and sharpening problem-solving skills.

“That’s why it’s so critical to ensure all kids have access to these resources. We need to give them an even playing field from the start, because when they don’t have this during their early formative years, it’s very difficult to make that up later.

“I’m deeply honored to receive this award. Our state’s dedicated education advocates recognize the importance of early childhood programs and provide indispensable support by making sure at-risk kids have a voice in Harrisburg. It’s up to us as lawmakers to ensure their message is heard and reflected in legislation and policy.”

Receiving Legislative Champion awards along with Longietti are ECE Caucus founder state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie; state Sen. Patrick Browne, R-Lehigh; and former state Rep. Phyllis Mundy, D-Luzerne, who worked with Harkins to form the caucus in 2010.

The awards are being presented by principal partners of Pre-K for PA, Start Strong PA and Childhood Begins at Home on behalf of Early Learning PA – a coalition of advocates supporting Pennsylvanians from birth to age five. The virtual awards ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19 as part of a special session of the 2020 Early Childhood Education Summit.