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Wolf Administration Reminds Child Care Providers to Apply for Federal Grant Funding

Deadline to apply is January 31, 2022 

Harrisburg, PA – The Wolf Administration reminds licensed child care providers that they can apply for one-time funding through the American Rescue Plan Act to help address workforce and operational challenges due to the pandemic. The deadline to apply for funding is Monday, January 31 at 11:59 p.m.

“The child care industry has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the providers and staff in this sector deserve our thanks and support,” said Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Secretary Meg Snead. “As a parent to young children, I know that without child care, parents cannot go to work or school and cannot provide for their families. These funds from the American Rescue Plan Act are an unprecedented investment in the child care sector and are key to our economic recovery from this pandemic, and I urge providers not to miss this opportunity for additional support.”

More information on the grant funding and how to apply can be found here. Child care providers have the discretion to use these dollars for a variety of purposes, which include:

  • Personnel costs, including for both recruitment and retention efforts, such as sign-on bonuses and pay increases;
  • Operational costs, such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, maintenance, and insurance;
  • Health and safety costs, such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cleaning and sanitation supplies, and staff professional development related to health and safety practices;
  • Equipment and supplies;
  • Goods and services necessary to maintain or resume child care services;
  • Mental health services for children and staff; and,
  • Reimbursement for past COVID-19-related expenses incurred after January 31, 2020

The early child care education industry currently faces a multitude of challenges, many of which stem from the COVID-19 pandemic. Child care providers have experienced increased costs in order to maintain safe care, staffing challenges, and disruptions in service. These issues strain providers and directly impact not only the parents and guardians who depend on child care to continue working, but also the children who benefit from the care and education child care centers provide.

In September, DHS announced its plan to distribute $655 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to stabilize Pennsylvania’s child care industry. To date, $613 million has been committed, reaching approximately 83 percent of licensed child care providers across Pennsylvania.

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 decreased costs to families, greater support for child care providers participating in the program, and setting incentives for providers who expand care availability beyond traditional hours.

“When we as a society invest in early childhood education, everyone wins,” said Acting Secretary Snead. “For our youngest Pennsylvanians, an early childhood education experience can shape their educational, social, and emotional development throughout their lives. Parents can go to work knowing that their children are safe and thriving. And, our communities and our economy become healthier and stronger. Making sustained investments in early childhood education benefits not only individuals, but all Pennsylvanians.”

For more information on child care providers operating during the COVID-19 public health crisis, visit www.findchildcare.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brandon Cwalina, DHS – ra-pwdhspressoffice@pa.gov