By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This is a big day for some young children and their parents. Philadelphia’s pre-K expansion starts today. Two-thousand tuition-free, new seats have been created.

Lisa Martin said she’ll feel just a little bit of trepidation, dropping off her three-year-old at pre-school.

“To go to school from eight in the morning to three in the afternoon just seems like a lot, so it’ll be a transition,” she said.

But Martin is convinced it’s one that has to be made.

“They say kindergarten is the new first grade, so we need all the kids to be prepared. We don’t want anyone to go into kindergarten not knowing everything that they need to know, that they could have learned had they had access to a pre-K program.”

Martin was prepared to make sacrifices to enroll her child so the city’s program is an unexpected benefit. Another parent Tay Baker said with twins, and thus double tuition, she might not have been able to afford a program like the one her kids start today.

“It makes me feel so comfortable, that my kids are going to get a great education.”

The city pays 85-hundred dollars per student, with funds from the new soda tax.