State Senators and Representatives could improve childcare availability by increasing funding for Pre-K and Head Start, according to the People's Emergency Center.
There are more than 9,300 children ages birth through 5 who experience homelessness in the Commonwealth, including some 2,600 children in Philadelphia. Most need high quality early learning programs that would help promote their development and be ready for school. PEC urges you to contact your state legislators today.
Childcare programs are closing classrooms and entire facilities due to teacher and staff shortages. The Governor’s budget proposal is an inadequate response to the current childcare crisis. Additional funding would stabilize the childcare industry at a time that is critical to Pennsylvania businesses trying to rehire their labor force. The Governor’s budget proposal uses federal funds to sustain the current fiscal year’s childcare subsidy rate increase, reduces parent co-payments and provides incentives for expanding non-traditional hour care. While these steps are important, they are not sufficient, especially since funding for Pennsylvania’s Child Care Services and Child Care Assistance has not increased in three years. And, the average childcare teacher makes less than $11 per hour.
PEC has joined with PreK for PA to urge state policymakers to allocate a portion of the projected year-end surplus of $2.8 billion to address staff recruitment and retention and increase access to quality care for working families, specifically for infants and toddlers. We are urging legislators to:
- Serve an additional 2,308 children and increase the number of full- and half-day slots by increasing the high-quality pre-k line items by $70 million. The rate increase is necessary to support the early care and education workforce and address rising costs for providers.
- Accelerate access to high-quality childcare for working parents by providing a wage supplement for teachers and staff through $115 million in sustainable state/federal funding. This investment will provide an increase of $2 per hour for childcare professionals to retain the current workforce, reducing turnover which negatively impacts child development and results in classroom and program closures that disrupt parents’ ability to work.
Tell both your State Representative and State Senator to:
- Support Governor Wolf’s proposal of adding $30 million to Head Start/Early Head Start, and
- Allocate a portion of the projected year-end surplus of $2.8 billion to address staff recruitment and retention and increase access to quality care for working families, specifically for infants and toddlers, and,
- Ask legislators to direct the increase to wages for childcare workers .
Your State Representative and Senator have either an email address or a webform.