Dear early care and education supporters –
 
As a result of your efforts, the Pennsylvania General Assembly and Gov. Wolf approved stimulus legislation this week to authorize $125 million in economic relief for child care and pre-k. This funding is in addition to the federal CARES Act Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funds Pennsylvania received and will help stabilize the child care system and allow Pennsylvania families return to work.

I want to thank you for the time you spent advocating with us. Many of you spoke to reporters and legislators about your programs, testified before legislative committees, submitted letters to the editor, sent letters and emails to your legislators, participated in the Start Strong PA and Pre-K for PA campaigns’ action alert series and more. All of these efforts were critical to securing this funding. Lawmakers understand child care is critical for working families and stepped up to support you!

It is important that we all say thank you to the General Assembly and Gov. Wolf for their strong support. Please join us in thanking them here .

Below is a full update on the short-term budget and stimulus legislation that were passed. While this is a huge victory, we have more work to do through summer and fall to ensure the funding goes out quickly to programs and to make certain the final budget is a win for early learning.

I know I’ll be celebrating this great news this weekend and you should too! Thank you for your advocacy!

Stay healthy and safe,
Jen
 
Stop-Gap Budget Passed

Pre-K
This week a fiscal year 2020-21 budget was enacted. HB 2387  provides a full year of state funding for the Pre-K Counts and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Programs. These line items were level-funded based on the current fiscal year amounts. An accompanying bill, HB 1083  provided that the rate paid per child for Pre-K Counts would also remain the same as the current fiscal year.

Child Care
HB 2387 also provided about five months’ worth of state funding for child care line items. Many appropriations were handled in this same way. Lawmakers anticipate completing a second budget bill later in the fiscal year once they have a better idea of the Commonwealth’s fiscal situation. The bill also provides the spending authority for the $106 million in CCDBG CARES Act funds. 

Stimulus Legislation Enacted
SB 1108  provides for the allocation of $3.9 billion in federal CARES Act funding, which the Commonwealth had discretion over how to distribute. Child care received $116 million, Pre-K Counts received $7 million and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program received $2 million. Accompanying legislation, HB 2510 , provides the child care funds may not be allocated until the completion of a study being completed by Penn State on behalf of OCDEL on the economic impacts of COVID-19. Pre-k line items may be spent on COVID-19 related costs incurred between March 1 and November 30.