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Fund Pre-K EITC Scholarships

Transform a portion of your company’s Pennsylvania state tax payments into pre-kindergarten scholarships for children at risk.

Through the Commonwealth’s Pre-Kindergarten Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, businesses can:

  • Invest money that would typically be paid as taxes into pre-K scholarships for at-risk children.

  • Ensure low income children get the quality early education needed for them to enter kindergarten ready to learn.

United Way of Lancaster County has been approved as a Pre-K Scholarship Organization by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). This designation allows us to deploy business tax credits to provide scholarships for young children in low-income families to Keystone STARS certified, high-quality, pre-K programs across Lancaster County.

By 2025, United Way is committed to ensuring that all Lancaster County children enter kindergarten ready to learn. Quality early education for each and every child, regardless of family income, is fundamental to achieving this bold goal. A solid educational foundation before kindergarten opens doors to success in school and in the workforce. In fact, every $1 invested in high-quality early childhood education returns $16 through lower special education and remediation costs. Quality early education ensures higher skilled workforce and lower public costs for public assistance, crime control, and lost taxes.

100% of your donation will be used for Pre-K Scholarships. No administrative costs will be deducted.

For more information, contact a member of our team at

Pre-K EITC is proudly supported by Central Penn Business Journal, TriStarr Staffing, and United Way of Lancaster County's Women United affinity group.


The Pre-K Educational Improvement Tax Credit is a Pennsylvania income tax credit made available to eligible businesses contributing to a pre-kindergarten scholarship organization through the PA DCED. Companies may also qualify by contributing to scholarship or education improvement organizations.

Eligible companies must be authorized to do business in Pennsylvania and are subject to one or more of the followingtaxes:

  • Corporate Net Income Tax

  • Capital Stock Franchise Tax

  • Bank and Trust Company Shares Tax

  • Insurance Premiums Tax

  • Mutual Thrift Institutions Tax

  • Title Insurance Companies Shares Tax

  • Personal Income Tax of “S”corporation share holders or partnership partners

Businesses may apply their Pre-K EITC against tax liabilities in the year the contribution is made. Businesses may receive tax credits equal to 100% of their first $10,000 contributed and up to 90% of the remaining amount contributed, up to a maximum credit of $20,000 annually.


Applications for Pre-K EITC open July 1. Business applicants who have fulfilled their two-year commitment and wish to renew their two-year commitment must do so by May 15. Businesses in the middle of their two-year commitment must also apply by May 15.

All applications must be submitted online. Talk to your accountant on how to best take advantage of this opportunity.

The Process:

  1. Fill out an online application by following the EITC Business Application Guideline.

  2. State the amount of tax credit contribution your business will make to United Way of Lancaster County in the application.

  3. Once approved, your business will receive written notification from DCED.

  4.  Within 60 days, send your contribution to United Way of Lancaster County.

  5. United Way of Lancaster County will send written acknowledgement to your business within 30 days.

  6. Your business will then forward a copy of the acknowledgement to DCED within 90 days of original notification.

  7. File your tax return as usual and claim the tax credit for your contribution.

Tax credit applications are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis. With only $10 million in tax credits available statewide for the Pre-K Program, early application is essential.


Since 2009, the following companies have qualified for Pre-K EITC and supported at-risk children through our United Way:

  • Amelia's Grocery Outlet

  • United Concordia

  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)

  • Graystone Bank

  • PPL Corporation

  • Frontier Communications

  • M&T Bank

  • Fulton Bank

  • Susquehanna Bank

  • Oak Tree Development

  • The Nutrition Group

  • Rodgers & Associates


Since 2015, scholarships have been awarded to high-quality, Pre-K centers for at-risk students county-wide. Scholarships average around $4,000 a child. We have provided scholarships to children who attended the high-quality preschool programs at:

  • Community Action Partnership, Lancaster City

  • Lancaster Early Education Center, Lancaster City

  • S. June Smith Center, Ephrata

  • YWCA, Lancaster City

  • Luthercare, Columbia and Reamstown

  • Elizabethtown Child Care Center

Learn more about applying to receive scholarships through Pre-K EITC.