HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Tuesday, Governor Josh Shapiro announced plans to expand an early learning center, which is a year-round childcare for Commonwealth employees.

The Keystone Learning Center serves more than 60 children and has a waitlist for families who are in need of childcare.

“We can’t ignore the fact that it’s hard for parents to get to work in the first place if they don’t have affordable childcare options,” said Governor Shapiro. “By expanding the Keystone Early Learning Center, we can make sure more children have safe, high-quality care and help their hardworking parents rest easier as they serve the Commonwealth day in and day out.

The expansion is planned to be completed by early summer 2024 and is also planned to double the number of families served.

“All care is very much needed right now, and we have a wonderful center that provides quality care for children so I think it’s great that we’re expanding so that we can serve more families and a child account that they can trust,” said Lana Stitzel who is the Director of the Keystone Early Learning Center.

“Really important the babies are born into the world, but they don’t know anything they don’t know what’s happening, they don’t know who they are and so it’s the job of parents and childcare workers and whoever is in their lives to teach them,” said Shannon Kendricks, a toddler teacher for Keystone Early Learning Center.

The funding will be provided through the Department of General Services and the project is estimated to cost up to $1.3 million.

The expansion is set to be complete in about a year–but interested parents are encouraged to apply early.

“Early education is vital to a children’s-to-children’s learning so for them to have that early care sets them on a great path from the get-go,” said Stitzel.