COVID-19 Update:
Gov. Wolf Announces Plan to Spend Some Federal Child Care Stimulus Funds; More Support Needed Now

Dear early care and education supporters,

Today Gov. Tom Wolf announced a plan to distribute $51 million of the $106 million Pennsylvania received in federal CARES Act child care funding. The $51 million will be provided to all eligible, certified child care providers through their regional Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs). The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) set a base payment by licensure type and capacity and providers can receive additional funding for subsidy enrollments and if they operate in a county determined to have moderate or acute capacity issues. Twenty-seven counties in Pennsylvania are considered by OCDEL to have moderate or acute child care deserts. This is based on capacity of certified child care providers compared to projections from census data on the number of children needing child care.

Providers suspended for a tax lien, welfare fraud or providers whose certificates have been revoked or not renewed were disqualified from receiving this funding. These funds will not be disbursed until mid-June and the administration indicated remaining funding will be allocated following the  completion of a study  by OCDEL and Penn State Harrisburg’s Institute of State and Regional Affairs assessing the economic impact of the pandemic on Pennsylvania child care providers. The full press release can be found here .

Providers need to fill out an “attestation form” and send it to their ELRC in order to receive this funding. In addition, OCDEL developed a tool to help programs calculate an estimated amount of funding they will receive. You can find the attestation form, ELRC contact information and the calculation tool here .

It is good to see movement on allocating the CARES Act child care funds and the recognition by Gov. Wolf of the importance of child care to the Commonwealth's recovery. However, this just scratches the surface of what programs will need to reopen and stay open for working families. We have talked to many program directors that have experienced severe financial losses from subsidy copayments and/or private pay tuition you did not receive. In addition, you have greater funding needs to ensure a healthy and safe environment for the children you serve and teachers you employ.

The $51 million is only part of what is needed. All available CARES Act dollars dedicated to child care should be allocated now and other federal funds should be dedicated to early learning programs too so they can weather this storm. Your businesses are the ones all other employers will rely on to reopen successfully. Know that we will continue to fight for you and we hope you will continue to be a voice alongside us in our advocacy in the coming weeks!

Stay healthy and safe,
The PennAEYC Team