WEST CHESTER (August 25, 2020) – State Senator Andy Dinniman recently called for further provisions to support child care, calling the state to act alongside fellow Pennsylvania public officials.
The call to action comes after a Penn State research report highlighted that to properly ensure child care providers can fully support children, they would still need around $115 million.
“While we discuss the facets of our lives affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot understate the importance of providing comprehensive child care for all those in need,” Dinniman said. “We need to specifically emphasize how, with school closures, more school-age children may need this quality of care.”
Tracey Campanini, Deputy Secretary of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning with the Pennsylvania Child Care Association, highlighted the need for increased funding, citing the now over 200 permanent closures of child care facilities.
After the research was presented to the Democratic Caucus, Gov. Wolf proposed significant investments in child care, including $250 million for families with school-aged children in need of child care due to blended or remote in-person instruction models.
The proposal also included $27 million to expand child care options in “deserts,” and $50 million in grants to part-day school-age programs servicing low income communities.
In the research meeting held on August 24, Dinniman voiced similar concerns.
“Many school districts had pre-school services in lieu of child care provider services, such as Coatesville’s child care program. If they’re closed, how will that affect the greater picture of child care?” Dinniman asked.