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Across Pennsylvania, A Push For Universal Pre-Kindergarten

By Mike Dougherty

LEVITTOWN, Pa. (CBS) -- Education advocates in Pennsylvania have been canvassing the state, trying to raise awareness of the importance of quality, affordable early child education.

Bucks County commissioner Rob Loughery, after reading a story to the children at the Emilie Christian Day School in Levittown, said preschool for kids is similar to planting a seed at the right time to maximize the plant's potential.

"I can't think of a smarter investment than making it in early child learning and pre-K, and that investment is very important," he said today.

Jodi Arnold, who teaches kindergarten in Newtown, says it's obvious on the first day of school who has had quality pre-K education and who hasn't.

"Academically, these are the kids who come in knowing how to write their name.  And then, on the other end, you see the kids who can't even count to ten," she says.  "Some don't even know their colors or shapes yet."

Arnold says that with both parents working in many families, the home schooling of toddlers is being left up to babysitters.  And that, she says, is not always good enough.

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