HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Child care workers hit hard by the pandemic are getting some help from the state. Governor tom wolf announced new one-time, $600 grants.
About 33,000 child care employees across the Commonwealth will get that money.
The grants will replace the Education and Retention Award this fiscal year, which reached about 9,000 employees.
Governor Wolf said a vibrant child care industry is a vital cornerstone for a healthy economy.
“For nearly a year, child care professionals have continued to work through a challenging environment, providing a safe and caring setting for our youngest Pennsylvanians as their parents go to work performing essential work through a tumultuous period,” said Wolf. “We are incredibly grateful for their commitment.”
Awards are being issued on a first come-first served basis.
The deadline to apply is February 12.
Eligible employees must make less than or equal to $70,000 a year and work at least 20 hours a week.
Providers must be licensed by the Office of Child Development and Early Learning.
Funds are coming from the Child Care Development Fund and the CARES Act.
The grants be administered through local early learning resource centers.
Since the pandemic began, about $220 million in CARES Act funding has gone to support child care providers.
The federal government recently allocated $10 billion to support child care across the country, and states should receive their share of that money in the coming weeks.
Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller urges everyone to apply for these grants on behalf of their staff.
“Child care workers shape and care for our youngest minds during some of their most formative years, and a safe, loving child care center can be an extension of family for parents and children,” said Miller.
More information can be found on the Department of Human Services’ website.