Department of Human Services Celebrates Month of the Young Child, Highlights Importance of Governor Wolf’s Proposed Plan for Direct Funding to Pennsylvanians for Child Care and Other Basic Needs

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Acting Department of Human Services (DHS) 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 children and other basic needs.

Young Child Month recognizes what children need to get off to a strong and healthy start and how early childhood education programs can meet those needs and benefit children throughout their lives. Throughout the pandemic, child care centers and early childhood educators like Children’s Playhouse staff have worked and continue to work tirelessly through the hardships to provide families of all backgrounds and means with an opportunity for child care. fair and of good quality. The ability of centers, like Children’s Playhouse, to remain well-staffed and open is crucial to the health of the economy and child development for today’s generation of young children.

“A thriving child care infrastructure is essential 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 the future of our children,” Acting Secretary Snead said. “The Month of the Young Child celebrates the important role that early childhood education programs play in the growth and development of children. Child care workers make this possible, and we need to recognize the value of this work and continue to strengthen this industry.

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

The Wolf administration has taken significant steps to support the child care industry during the COVID-19 crisis and will continue to do so. In the fall, DHS announced plans to distribute $655 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to stabilize the child care industry in Pennsylvania. Licensed child care providers are invited to submit one-time funding applications that represent an unprecedented investment in the child care industry and its dedicated workforce. This grant can be used to cover expenses, sustain staff and provide support to this essential 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 reducing costs for families, better support for child care providers participating in the program, and putting in place incentives for providers who extend the availability of care 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,” Acting Secretary Meg Snead said. “We can’t move forward if we leave people behind, and by investing in our individual dignity and the value we can all 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 struggling to find a provider or have a lower income and need help paying for care can contact their local Early Learning Resource Center at www.raiseyourstar.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brandon Cwalina – [email protected]

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