Department of Human Services Celebrates Month of the Young Child, Stresses Importance of Gov. Wolf’s Proposed Plan for Direct Funding to Pennsylvanians for Child Care and Other Essential Needs

Philly, PA – Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Secretary Meg Snead visited Children’s Playhouse to celebrate Month of the Young Child and discuss the Wolf Administration’s proposal to provide direct funding to Pennsylvanians for child care and other essential needs.

Month of the Young Child recognizes what children need to have strong, healthy starts and how early childhood education programs can meet those needs and benefit children across their lives. Throughout the pandemic, child care centers and early childhood educators like the staff at Children’s Playhouse have worked and continue to work tirelessly through the difficulties to offer families of all backgrounds and means an opportunity for quality, equitable child care. The ability for centers, like Children’s Playhouse, to remain well staffed and open are crucial to the economy’s health and to child development for the current generation of young children.

“A thriving child care infrastructure is foundational to the rest of our economy, and this industry and the dedicated educators who show up every day to help our children grow are essential to a thriving workforce and our children’s futures,” said Acting Secretary Snead. “Month of the Young Child celebrates the important role of early childhood education programs place in growth and development of kids. Child care workers make this possible, and we must recognize the value of this work and continue to fortify this industry.”

Governor Wolf is seeking to directly invest in Pennsylvanians by using American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide $2,000 grants to help individuals and families meet essential needs. These grants can help pay for child care, health care, housing, utilities, broadband, education and vocational training programs. As Pennsylvania and the nation continue economic recovery in a turbulent world, direct support to individuals and families will help Pennsylvanians maintain their individual wellbeing and contribute to their communities.

The Wolf Administration has taken significant steps to support the child care industry through the COVID-19 crisis and will continue to do so. In the fall, DHS announced its plan to distribute $655 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to stabilize Pennsylvania’s child care industry. Licensed child care providers are invited to submit applications for one-time grant funding that represents an unprecedented investment in the child care industry and its dedicated workforce. This grant funding can be used to cover expenses, support staff, and provide support to this critical industry that continues to be challenged by the pandemic.

Additionally, $352 million in Child Care Development Fund funding from the American Rescue Plan Act is being invested in Pennsylvania’s Child Care Works (CCW) subsidized child care program, targeting decreased costs to families, greater support for child care providers participating in the program, and setting incentives for providers who expand care availability beyond traditional hours.

“These grants can help people access child care that enriches their children’s lives and allows them to go to work. They can invest in their education and professional development,” said Acting Secretary Meg Snead. “We cannot move forward if we are leaving people behind, and by investing our individual dignity and the value we all can bring, we can give our families a step forward – something that benefits entire communities.”

To find licensed child care programs operating in Pennsylvania visit www.findchildcare.pa.gov. Families who are having trouble finding a provider or who are lower income and need assistance paying for care can contact their local Early Learning Resource Center at www.raiseyourstar.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brandon Cwalina – ra-pwdhspressoffice@pa.gov

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