Philadelphia City Council Passes Soda Tax; Early Childhood Education Expansion

PHILADELPHIA (June 18, 2016) – The city of Philadelphia has passed the first tax of its kind in an effort to raise funds that support prekindergarten programs across the city. Philadelphia is the biggest city in the nation to implement the Soda Tax after 40 previous attempts to pass the tax across country.

Ed Koch, School Administrator and Pre-K Counts Coordinator at Brightside Academy said this program would provide even more quality education to its Philadelphia families. “This is a broad-based program that prevents children from falling through the cracks because of income restrictions.” The subsidy funding program available at Brightside Academy, Child Care Information Services (CCIS) is not always awarded to all who apply due to income ineligibility or household-status.

According to The New York Times, the Philadelphia tax of 1.5 cents an ounce will apply to all sugary or artificially sweetened drinks sold by distributions in the city. “It is expected to raise $91 million annually to be spent on expanding prekindergarten programs in the city,” according to Philly News.

Along with pre-kindergarten expansion, this tax will help fund community schools reinvestment in parks and recreation centers, and contribute to the city’s General Fund, according to CNN.

As part of the PA Pre-K Counts program, Brightside Academy’s Philadelphia locations are PA Keystone STARS accredited. In addition to STARS grants for higher performing locations, the Soda Tax will provide additional funding to support those programs and expand our service to more families.

The new tax will become effective January 1, 2017.

Brightside Academy has 27 academies across the Philadelphia region with 5 offering PA Pre-K Counts and 15 offering Head Start. These academies are currently enrolling for fall 2016 and have approximately 680 slots available between both programs.

Families who are interested in enrolling their children to Brightside Academy can contact the company at 1-877-868-2273, visit, or stop by a local academy for more information.

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