Building a Stronger Child Care System through the American Rescue Plan
Lehigh Valley, PA: (May 3, 2021) – On May 6, 2021, child care providers and the families they serve from across Lehigh and Northampton counties will participate in a virtual forum hosted by Start Strong PA and campaign partner organization the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children (PennAEYC).
The child care sector was in crisis before the COVID-19 pandemic, with eligible families unable to access child care subsidy, poverty-level wages for early childhood educators, and razor thin margins for providers. The child care sector has been pushed to the brink of collapse by the pandemic. Federal relief over the last year has helped many providers, however between March 2020 and February 2021, 592 Pennsylvania providers have closed permanently and 363 temporarily. Child care providers are still incurring additional pandemic related costs while operating significantly under capacity.
Feedback gathered from child care providers and families will be used to inform funding recommendations to the Wolf Administration for the $1.2 billion Pennsylvania is estimated to receive through the American Rescue Plan. This law includes $24 billion for child care stabilization, $15 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant, and $3.55B in the Child Care Entitlement to States.
Start Strong PA campaign partners will emphasize the need for these funds to not only stabilize child care providers but allow Pennsylvania to think boldly about how to create a stronger more equitable child care system.
Tonia Breech, Professor of Education, Lehigh/Carbon Community College
Jen DeBell and Kimberly Early, SSPA Partner Organization Representatives, PennAEYC
Sophie Estrella, Owner, Elevation Learning Center, Allentown
Nancy Frederick, Director of The Learning Center, Third Street Alliance for Women & Children, Easton
Ashley Patete, Parent Representative
DATE: May 6, 2021
TIME: 1:00 pm – 3 pm
WHERE: Virtual Forum
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