PHILADELPHIA, June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Public Welfare Deputy Secretary Barbara Minzenberg today highlighted Governor Tom Corbett's$3 million budget proposal to fund the Rising STARS initiative, which targets resources to support quality early child care and learning, specifically for at-risk children. "Governor Corbett's proposed budget supports higher-quality standards in early child care learning centers across the state, which we know will result in more promising futures for our children," Minzenberg said. The Keystone STARS program is a nationally recognized program that increases the quality of child care programs throughout Pennsylvania. Child care and Head Start programs that participate in Keystone STARS earn a STAR 1 to STAR 4 rating by meeting evidence-based standards for teacher quality, classroom environment, partnering with families, and solid business practices. The Rising STARS initiative promotes greater access for at-risk children to higher quality child care to better prepare them for kindergarten success. It gives incentives to providers through tiered reimbursement to adopt quality practices and targets resources for STAR 1 child care providers to encourage them to increase their quality rating on the STARS scale. Minzenberg was joined by retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Thomas J. Wilson III; Philadelphia City Police Chief Inspector Myron Patterson; and Jerry Maginnis, office managing partner, KPMG, LLC. The three spoke on behalf of Mission: Readiness; Fight Crime: Invest in Kids; and the Early Learning Investment Commission. "Quality early care and education programs, like Rising STARS, jump start academic achievement, placing children on a trajectory of success that makes them more likely to graduate high school and possess the skills necessary to serve as the backbone of our military or civilian workforces," Wilson said.