More Than 350 Organizations Support Governor’s Child Care Budget

June 20, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – In a message to Governor Tom Wolf and members of the General Assembly, more than 350 organizations and child care providers asked for a final budget to avoid further cuts to aid for working families and move closer to the investment proposed in Governor Wolf’s budget.

“For thousands of Pennsylvanians, child care assistance is the lifeline that allows them to work and provide for their families,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “As we work towards a final budget agreement, we cannot lose sight of investments that support working families. By taking a balanced approach, we can address the long-term deficit and continue to support these programs.”

According to their message, over the last several years, child care line items have seen net decreases, including a significant $20 million cut in state funds in FY ’16-’17. In Governor Wolf’s budget proposal, it included a $35 million increase for child care to begin to reverse this trend. However, the House responded with another $28 million cut to FY ’16-’17 levels.

The complete message and list of organizations:

To: The Honorable Members of the Pennsylvania Senate

The Honorable Members of the Pennsylvania House

The Honorable Tom Wolf Governor of Pennsylvania

As organizations concerned with access to high quality early childhood programs, we thank you for your interest in supporting early learning programs.

Over the last several years, child care line items have seen net decreases, including a significant $20 million cut in state funds in FY ’16-’17. In the Governor’s budget proposal, he included a $35 million increase for child care to begin to reverse this trend. However, the House responded with another $28 million cut to FY ’16-’17 levels. We urge the cuts be restored and serious consideration given to the governor’s requested increase.

Increased funding for child care is needed for many reasons, including:

  1. The child care subsidy waiting list is nearly 13,500 children and some families have now waited over a year. These families have been determined eligible and are working, in training, or in school. They have had to piece together child care arrangements for their children. Child care is a program that works for working families. It is not a free program. Parents pay approximately 8% of their income as a co-pay. With a looming $3 billion deficit, we should want to keep families working and paying taxes.
  2. Child care payment rates haven’t increased in a decade. As we continue to invest in pre-k, providers are unable to support their programs for infants and toddlers at the existing rates. Base rates are what pay for basic costs like rent, utilities, insurance, staff salaries – all of these costs have increased while the state’s rates have remained stagnant.
  3. The child care workforce is underpaid and reliant on public benefits. The average wage for a teacher working in a child care program is just $9.42/hour, making many eligible for public benefits themselves. Low pay creates high turnover rates and a lack of qualified, quality staff.
  4. Appropriately funded child care programs are the foundation of our state’s Pre-K system.  Our STAR 3 and STAR 4 providers offer high-quality early learning experiences, similar to those delivered in other pre-k settings. Child care also serves infants, toddlers, preschool, and sometimes school-age children. They operate between 10 and 12 hours per day, 12 months a year. But our state reimbursement rate fails to recognize and support those costs. Expansion of our state’s pre-k programs relies, in part, on a sufficient supply of high-quality child care facilities.

Finally, the budget moved forth by the House alleges that cuts to child care are an attempt to reduce administrative costs for the subsidy program by moving the program from Child Care Information Services (CCIS) to County Assistance Offices (CAOs). We believe this is unlikely to produce the cost savings suggested. Subsidy administration is more than eligibility determination; it requires a range of support services to meet federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) requirements.

Evidence of efficiencies in the system can be seen from when the TANF child care subsidy system was moved from the CAOs and unified with the low-income working families program under CCIS agencies in 2007. In the first year, CCIS agencies saved $42 million through coordinated system efficiencies and reductions to administrative overhead as well as by identifying waste, fraud and abuse. Finally, CCIS consolidation improved parent counseling and referral, leading more children to enroll in reliable, regulated, and high-quality child care. To continue to pursue system efficiencies and administrative cost reductions, DHS and OCDEL are preparing to issue a RFA that would consolidate a number of services including CCIS and The Regional Keys.

Looking to the 2017-18 state budget, we urge you to make the necessary investments so that children and families can receive high-quality child care. Specifically, we ask that you restore cuts to child care proposed by the House and consider increasing the investment above the current fiscal year towards the Governor’s $35 million proposed funding increase.

Thank you for taking time to consider this correspondence.

Sincerely,

A Childs First Step, Philadelphia

A Child’s Nest, Folcroft

A Child’s World Day Care Center, Rankin

A Mother’s Touch Center for Child Development, Sharon

A State of Play, Philadelphia

A+ Schools, Pittsburgh

Aa to Zz Child Care and Learning Center, Hershey

ABC Academy, Carbondale

ABC Academy, Leechburg

ABC Kiddie Kampus, Pittston

Adja Little Sunshine Family Childcare, Philadelphia

Adventure Alley Children’s Learning Center, Philadelphia

Akira Academy Preschool, Philadelphia

All About Kids Early Learning Center, Harrisburg

All Kids are Special, New Kensington

All My Children Learning Center, Souderton

Allies for Children, Pittsburgh

Amazing Kidz Academy LLC, Philadelphia

Amy Elliott Family Child Care Home, Shippensburg

And Academy, Leechburg

And Still I Rise Youth Development Program, Philadelphia

Ann Casger’s Day Care, Mifflintown

Appleseed Learning Center, Leechburg

April Bell, Vandergrift

Artisan Child Care Center, LLC, Allentown

Aunt Di’s Child Care Services, Philadelphia

Barb’s-Care-A lot, Harborcreek

Barbie’s Lil Schoolhouse, Pittsburgh

BASD-Miller Heights Child Care, Bethlehem

Beautiful Beginnings Childcare Center, Inc., Philadelphia

Begin With Us Child Care and Preschool, Inc., Altoona

Beth Shalom Early Learning, Pittsburgh

Bethlehem Area School District Child Care, Bethlehem

Bloom Early Education Centers, Inc., Swoyersville

Bright Horizons at Lancaster Laboratories, Leola

Bright Ideas Childcare and Preschool, Inc., Altoona

Bright Star Learning Center, New Castle

Building Blocks, Malvern

Building Bridges Daycare, LLC, Reading

Bullfrogs and Butterflies, New Brighton

Butler County Children’s Center, Inc., Butler

Butler County Early Care Education Council, Butler

Capital Area Head Start, Harrisburg

Care-A-Lot Learning Center, Philadelphia

Career & Workforce Development Center, Pittsburgh

Catholic Social Services – Casa Del Carmen, Philadelphia

CCIS Carbon County, Jim Thorpe

CCIS of Blair/Huntingdon Counties, Altoona

CCIS of Bucks County, Doylestown

CCIS of Columbia, Montour and Northumberland Co, Sunbury

CCIS of Lackawanna County, Scranton

CCIS of Westmoreland County, Greensburg

CCP, Harrisburg

Central Westmoreland Career & Technology Center, New Stanton

Changing the World Family Child Care LLC, Philadelphia

Chelten Child Development Center, Dresher

Child Advocates of Blair County, Altoona

Child Care, Jeannette

Child Care Consultants, York

Child Care Information Services of Berks County, Reading

Child Care Information Services, Inc., Bethlehem

Child Care Services, Mt. Pleasant

Child Development and Family Council of Centre County, Inc., State College

Children Central, Langhorne

Childhood Enrichment Therapy, Trafford

Children of the Ark Day Care, Lewistown

Children R Cherished Preschool & Childcare, Wilmerding

Children’s Aid Society, Clearfield

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh

Children’s Village, Philadelphia

Childspace Mt Airy, Philadelphia

Childspace Too Day Care Center, Philadelphia

Chinatown Learning Center, Philadelphia

Christ Church Preschool, Media

Christ Cornerstone Academy, Steelton

Clearfield County League of Social Services, Inc., Hyde

Colleen DiStefano Family Daycare, Bensalem

Community YMCA of Eastern Delaware County, Lansdowne

Cook, Greensburg

Coordinated Child Care Services of NEPA, Wilkes-Barre

County Angel Kisses, Indiana

Crafton Children’s Corner, Pittsburgh

Creative Beginnings, Philadelphia

Creative Beginnings, Rockledge

Creative Garden, LLC, Punxsutawney

Creative Kidz Daycare, Philadelphia

Creative Learning Center of the LV, Inc., Easton

Creative Learning Environments Inc., Aston

Creative Play Day School, Toughkenamon

Creative Pre School and Day Care, Inc., Sharpsville

Cressman’s Family Child Care, Danville

Cuddle Zone Learning Center, Allentown

Danville Child Development Center, Danville

Dar Al-Huda Early Learning Academy, Philadelphia

Day Nursery Association, Scranton

Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children, Philadelphia

DELCO Early Learning Center, Drexel Hill

Development of Greatness, Philadelphia

Dianne Irwin Family Day Care Home., Meadville

Discount School Supply, Pittsburgh

Discover the World Children Center, Inc., Sayre

Dixon Learning Academy, Philadelphia

Donnetta’s Family Daycare, Philadelphia

Dougherty’s Daycare, New Castle

Douglas Academy, West Homestead

Dreamers & Achievers Childcare & Preschool, Pitcairn

Drueding Center, Philadelphia

Early Foundations, Philadelphia

Each One Teach One Family Cent, Greensburg

Education Law Center, Philadelphia/Pittsburgh

Educational Building Blocks, Inc., York

Elizabeth Miller Consultant, Lewistown

Elizabeth Porter, Sayre

Episcopal Community Services, Philadelphia

Evangel Heights Child Dev Center, Sarver

Family Child Care Provider, Chambersburg

Family Matters Child Care, Philadelphia

Federation Early Learning Services, Philadelphia

First Bethel Kings School Kids, Bethel Park

First Presbyterian Church Child Care Center, Levittown

Flexible, Pittsburgh

Foulkeways Child Care Center, Gwynedd

Foundations for Learning Preschool, Bedford

Franklin County Democratic Women’s Club, Shippensburg

Friends Schoolhouse, State College

Gan Chabad, Philadelphia

Gettysburg’s Growing Place, Gettysburg

Goddard School of King of Prussia, King of Prussia

Going Places, Meadville

Good Shepherd Daycare, Glen Rock

Grace Trinity, Philadelphia

Great Expectations, Latrobe

Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence, Pittsburgh

Grow and Learn Centers, Inc. dba A Child’s Nest, Folcroft

Growing Moments LLC, Philadelphia

Hansel & Gretel Early Learning Center, Harrisburg

Here We Grow Daycare, Philadelphia

Heavenly Made Creations Family Child Care, Philadelphia

Hilltop Community Children’s Center, Pittsburgh

Holy Trinity Preschool, Wallingford

Homewood Brushton Family Support, Pittsburgh

Honeyland Child Care Center, Willow Grove

House Hosanna, Pittsburgh

Hugs Away From Home, Verona

HUGS Daycare, Harleysville

In The Beginning Place, Harrisburg

Indiana County Child Day Care Program, Inc., Indiana

Indiana School District, Indiana

Inspiration Station Early Learning Center, Camp Hill

JC Academy of Excellence, Philadelphia

Jean Garnett Family Child Care Home, Croydon

Jennersville YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center, West Grove

Jennifer Nartic, West Newton

Jennifer Reitz Family Daycare, Punxsutawney

Jeremiah’s Place, Pittsburgh

Just Like Home Group Daycare, Chester

Kencrest Services, Philadelphia

Kiddie Garden Day Care, Philadelphia

Kids Academy, Harrisburg

Kids Connection Learning Center, LLC, Sharon Hill

Kids First, Altoona

Kids Land Childcare Center, Philadelphia

Kidz R’SPECIAL Day Care, Philadelphia

Kim Sass’s Family Day Care, Curwensville

Kimberly Roy Family Day Care, Punxsutawney

KinderCare Education, North Huntingdon

KinderCare Education, Langhorne

KinderCare Education LLC, Harrisburg

Kingdom Seeds Child Care, Philadelphia

Kochenderfer Christian Day Care, Lebanon

Kozy Kastle School Age Program, Athens

Kristina Garner Family Child Care Home, Washington

Lackawanna Human Development Agency, Inc., Scranton

Lancaster Early Education Center, Lancaster

Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit, Lebanon

Latrobe Kinder Schull, Latrobe

Learn N Play Daycare, LLC, Bath

Learning Ladder Academy, LLC, Mohnton

Learning Laughing and Growing Childcare, Philadelphia

Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers, Inc., Allentown

Lene’s Daily Child Care, Inc., Philadelphia

Li’l Bucks Partners in Learning, Jamison

Life Ticket Church, Herndon

Lil’ Bits FCCH, Philadelphia

Lititz Christian Early Learning Center, Lititz

Little Einsteins Early Learning Center, Philadelphia

Little Hands Childcare, Dubois

Little Learners Literacy Academy, Philadelphia

Little Munchkins Learning Center (LMLC, LLC.), Conshohocken

Little People Country Club, Easton

Little People Day Care School, Scranton

Little People, Little Stars Early Learning Center, Philadelphia

Little Peoples Child Care LLC, Curwensville

Little Stars of Tomorrow, Sharon Hill

Lorna Family Childcare Home, Butler

Loving Hearts Daycare, Middleburg

Loving Hearts Daycare, Selinsgrove

Luthercare for Kids Lancaster, Lancaster

LVCC’s Early Learning Center, Allentown

Maria Pena Family Child Care Home, Philadelphia

Memorable Moments, Philadelphia

Middlecreek Area Community Center, Beaver Springs

Millennium Daycare, Jermyn

Miss Marty’s Pre School, Philadelphia

Mission Committee of Wayne Presbyterian Church, Wayne

Montgomery County Court Child Care Center, Norristown

Montgomery Early Learning Centers, Narberth

Moppets on Mulberry, Towanda

Mrs. Connie’s Family Child Care, LLC, Philadelphia, PA

Mt. Ararat, Pittsburgh

Mt. Top Kids, Mountain Top

My First Child Day Care Home LLC, Allentown

Nat’s Day Care, Philadelphia

Neshaminy Kids Club, Langhorne

NIA Learning Center, Inc., Philadelphia

Norma De Hoyos Day Care 2, Reading

North Penn YMCA, Harleysville

Northeastern Childcare Services, Scranton

Oak Lane Day Care, West Chester

Oaks Early Learning Center, Oaks

Olde City Day School, Philadelphia

Once Upon A Time Early Learning Center, Washington

One Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, PA

Otterbein Early Education Center, Mount Wolf

Panda Preschool & Daycare, Burnham

Parent Infant Center, Philadelphia

Past Your Bedtime Childcare, Philadelphia

Penn Pals Child Care Center, Jeannette

Pennsylvania Academy of Pediatrics, Media

Pennsylvania Child Care Alliance (PENN SACCA), Mountville

Pennsylvania Child Care Association, Lemoyne

Pennsylvania Council of Churches, Harrisburg

Pennsylvania Head Start Association, Harrisburg

Pennsylvania Home-Based Child Care Providers Association, Clearfield

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, Harrisburg

People for People ECDC, Philadelphia

Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children, Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pittsburgh

PNC Bank, New Kensington

Pocono Services for Families and Children, Tobyhanna

Pre-K Kids Learning Center, New Castle

Pre-School Power, Philadelphia

Precious Life, Norristown

Prodigy Learning Center, Philadelphia

Public Citizens for Children and Youth, Philadelphia

Queen Lane ‘Montessori School, Philadelphia

Rebecca Fite Home Day Care, Lewistown

Renee’s Child Care, Philadelphia

Retikis Open Arms Child Care, Harrisburg

Rhonda’s Daycare, Farrell

Rising Sun Children’s Center, Philadelphia

Roaring Spring Blank Book Co, Roaring Spring

Rosebuds Lil Explorers Early Learning Center, Coatesville

Sally’s House Family Child Care, Morton, PA 19070

Sayre Child Center, Bethlehem

Scott Family Day Care, Philadelphia

Scranton Lackawanna Human Development Agency, Scranton

Settlement Music School/Kaleidoscope, Philadelphia

Shady Lane School, Pittsburgh

Shane’s Friends, Philadelphia

Sharis Mu’Min’s Family Childcare, Philadelphia

Sign Say Learning Center, Fairless Hills

Small Wonders In-Home Childcare, LLC, Norristown

Small World Early Learning and Development Centers, Pittsburgh

SmartKids, Houston

Snyder Union Mifflin Child Development, Inc., Mifflinburg

Sonshine Child Care Inc., Cleona

Sonshine Christian Academy, Drexel Hill

SPIN Inc., Philadelphia

Spring Garden Academy, Philadelphia

St. Gabriel’s Good Shepherd Learning Center, Douglassville

St. James Lutheran Church Child Care Center, Gettysburg

St. John’s Daycare, Nazareth

St. Joseph’s Hill Lutheran Church Day Care, Boyertown

St. Paul Children’s Center, Chambersburg

St. Paul’s Child Development Center, Douglassville

St. Paul’s Christian Preschool, State College

Stay N Play Day Care, Homer City

Stepping Stones Preschool, Columbia Cross Roads

Steps to Success, Inc., Leola

Street Family Day Care, Pittsburgh

Sun Bright Childcare, Philadelphia

Sunoco, Sayre

Sunrise USA LLC, Columbia

Sunshine Corners Daycare, Strasburg

Sweet Pea Patch, Edinburgh

Tamaqua Child Care, Tamaqua

Tamila, Inc., dba Little Wonders Day Care Center, Philadelphia

TEKStart, Pittsburgh

Tender Care Learning Center, Cranberry

Tender Care Learning Center, Lower Burrell

Tender Care Learning Centers, Murrysville

Tender Care Learning Centers, Pittsburgh

Tender Years Family Child Care, Philadelphia

Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation, King of Prussia

The Believing Children Academy, Philadelphia

The Bear and The Bean’s Play Care, Mechanicsburg

The Children’s Center, Volunteers of America, Allentown

The Cuddle Zone Learning Center, Allentown

The Goddard School, King of Prussia

The Goddard School, Wayne

The Goddard School, West Chester

The Growing Place Child Care Centers, Kresgeville

The Growing Tree, East Stroudsburg

The Integrated Care Corporation, Ligonier

The Kreig Institute for Early Childhood Education, Moosic

The Learning Center, Pittsburgh

The Learning Station, State College

The PACT Program, Jeannette

The Pooh Day Care Center, Mount Carmel

The Torre Academy, Philadelphia

The Whole Child Learning Center, Elverson

Third Street Alliance, Easton

Tick Tock Early Learning Center, Avondale

Tina’s Lil Busy Bodies, Philadelphia

Tiny Hearts Family Day Care, Philadelphia

Tiny Tiles Kingdom Daycare LLC, Monessen

Tiny Tot Child Development Center, Rochester

Tiny Tots Childcare & Learning Center, Mount Union

Tiny Tots Childcare & Learning Center, Shade Gap

Tiny Tots Learning Center Inc., Quakertown

TMCS, Greensburg

Today’s Child Learning Center, Lansdowne

Tots Yearn To Learn Montessori, Philadelphia

Tracy Catherman, Wellsboro

Treana’s Little Castle Learning Center, Philadelphia

Trinity Cooperative Day Nursery, Swarthmore

Trinity Playgroup, Philadelphia, Pa

Twylia Bullock’s Child Care Center, Rome

U-Haul, Darragh

UNC-Bellevue Center, Scranton

Union Church Child Care, McKees Rocks

United Neighborhood Centers, Scranton

United Way of Columbia County, Bloomsburg

United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Philadelphia

United Way of Lancaster, Lancaster

United Way of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg

United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development, Pittsburg

Usha Ramamurthy Family Child Care Provider, Mechanicsburg

Valley Points Family YMCA, New Kensington

Villa Day Care Center, Inc., Shenandoah

Vision Childcare, Mars

Warwick Child Care Center, Inc., Exton

Wee Care Day Care, New Eagle

Welles Group Child Care Home, Chester

Westmoreland Community Action, Greensburg

Whole Child Learning Center, Exton

Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre

Willie Wee Learning Center, Bristol

YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh

You’re SomeBoddie Special, Philadelphia

YWCA Child Care Adams Commerce Center, Gettysburg

YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh

YWCA of York, York

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