Federal Child Care Funds Critical to Reopening and Rebuilding PA

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Volunteers of America Children’s Center highlights the dangerous and negative effects  of an underfunded child care system

Allentown, PA (September 13, 2021) – On Friday, September 17, 2021, Volunteers of America Children’s Center and the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children (PennAEYC) will co-host a tour and roundtable discussion describing the current state of child care in the Lehigh Valley.

U.S. Congresswoman Susan Wild will participate in a tour and roundtable at Volunteers of America Children’s Center to learn about the on-going challenges with recruiting and retaining staff, under-enrollment and continued pandemic related expenses.

Over 1,000 Pennsylvania child care providers have permanently or temporarily closed since the beginning of the pandemic. These closures and struggles with hiring and retaining teachers have created access issues for many Pennsylvania families trying to return to work. While federal relief funds have helped to stabilize some in the child care industry, Congress must make significant and sustained investments in child care and preschool to ensure families can return to work and our economy can recover.


  •     U.S. Representative Susan Wild
  •      Betty Druckenmiller, Director, The Children’s Center
  •      Elaine Pivinski, Owner, Franklin Hill Vineyards
  •      Jan Schwartz, Outreach Director, PennAEYC
  •     Kim Early, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, PennAEYC
  •      Shirlee Howe, Outreach Coordinator, Children First
  •     Erin Connelly, Associate Vice President, Impact, United Way
  •     Akshara Vivekananthan, Assistant Director, Education, United Way

WHEN:         Friday, September 17, 2021 at 10 am

WHERE:       730 Union St, Allentown, PA 18101

PennAEYC is a statewide, non-profit membership organization of over 2,500 early childhood care and education professionals. As the Pennsylvania affiliate of NAEYC, we are part of a network that includes 52 affiliates and nearly 60,000 individual members nationwide. Through policy development, advocacy and professional development and supports for early childhood professionals we work to achieve the vision that all Pennsylvania families will have access to high-quality, affordable early childhood care and education opportunities for their children provided by a profession that is valued, well-compensated and supported. Learn more at www.pennaeyc.org.

Start Strong PA is an initiative of Early Learning PA. Through a statewide collaboration of partners, Start Strong PA aims to support healthy child development, working families, and the economy by increasing access to and affordability of high-quality child care programs for young children. Learn more at www.startstrongpa.org.


Information provided to TVL by:
Jan Schwartz