- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - With budget talks dragging on in the Pennsylvania capitol, more early childhood centers certified under Pennsylvania’s state-subsidized pre-kindergarten program are closing without state aid.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education said Wednesday that 15 Pre-K Counts programs have closed. It says 538 children were enrolled in the programs.

This year’s prolonged budget impasse has entered its sixth month, forcing school districts, counties and social and human services organizations to shutter services, lay off employees, put off bills or go into debt to survive.

Children from low-income families qualify for Pre-K Counts, which serves nearly 14,000 children. Other Pre-K Counts providers are laying off staff or asking them to work for free.

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