Gov. Wolf announces $53 million in additional aid for child care providers

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Monday that $53 million in additional financial aid will be used to help child care providers who have been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Wolf made the announcement while visiting a child care center at the PSECU headquarters in Harrisburg. His administration previously distributed $51 million in CARES Child Care Development funding to eligible providers in June.

This additional funding, and another $116 million in future aid, is backed by the CARES Act.

“Stable, affordable, high-quality child care is an important piece of our workforce development,” Wolf said in a release. “In fact, my Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center identified it as one of the biggest hurdles to getting more Pennsylvanians into the workforce. As we continue to recover economically from this pandemic, we will need child care available so parents can resume working, or so they can attend training programs or job interviews. And, of course, it is crucial to continue providing high-quality care during critical early years when children are rapidly learning.”

The governor’s office says that based on participation in the June CARES Act distribution, more than 100 additional providers have declined funds, indicating they intend to remain closed.

The funding is distributed through the Department of Human Services’ Office of Child Development and Early Learning, which licenses child care providers in the state.

The OCDEL is currently working with Penn State Harrisburg’s Institute of State and Regional Affairs on a study to grasp the challenges that child care providers face in reopening and resuming operations during the pandemic.

Based on initial findings, distributing stimulus funds in July is crucial to allow adequate capacity in the future. Data collected through this study will be used to help determine the allocation of the remaining $116 million.

The governor made the announcement alongside Teresa Miller, secretary of the Department of Human Services; George Rudolph, president and CEO of PSECU; and Tonya Bastinelli, director of the Bright Horizons child care center at PSECU.

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