By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s day one of city-funded pre-K, and parents brought their toddlers to one newly expanded center in Northeast Philadelphia.

It was the first day of school for three and four-year-olds whose parents signed up for 2,000 city-funded pre-K seats at 90 sites citywide.

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One is SPIN in Northeast Philadelphia.


(credit: Mike DeNardo)

As four-year-old Jake played on a toy cash register in class, mom Amy Abecunas, of Academy Gardens, anticipated the benefit.

“This will give him more to do with other children…play and get off the TV and iPad and just learn and socialize.”

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SPIN provides support for children with developmental disabilities, and CEO Kathy Brown McHale says this location added 40 children in two new classrooms because of the city pre-K.

(credit: Mike DeNardo)

(credit: Mike DeNardo)

“We want children with and without disabilities to be together. So it really supports our mission.”

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The mayor’s Chief Education Officer Otis Hackney says of 2,100 applications for new pre-K seats funded by the soda tax, about 1,500 have been processed.

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He expects the remaining seats to be filled in the next few weeks.