Wolf Administration Declares $600 Pandemic Reduction Awards to Eligible Youngster Care Workers Throughout Pennsylvania

Human Services, press release

Governor Tom Wolf announced today the opportunity for a one-time grant of $ 600 for childcare workers across Pennsylvania. The funds are available to childcare facilities, which are funded by the Office for Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) through the quality dollars of the Federal Fund for the Development of Child Care (CCDF) and the remaining funds that were previously provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Help and Economic Security Federal (CARES) provided, licensed) Act for Childcare Providers.

“A healthy, vibrant childcare industry is a cornerstone of a healthy economy. As in many other areas of our economy, childcare workers in Pennsylvania have been hit hard by this pandemic, ”said Governor Tom Wolf. “For almost a year now, childcare workers have been working in challenging environments, providing our youngest Pennsylvanians with a safe and caring environment while their parents do important work in turbulent times. We are incredibly grateful for their commitment to our children and families and their resilience during this time. “

This award is available to all licensed childcare facilities currently open and operated regardless of Keystone STARS level. Managed on behalf of OCDEL through local Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs), they replace the high-quality Keystone STARS Education and Retention Award (ERA) for the 2020-2021 state fiscal year and grant the one-time award in around 33,000 childcare workers across the Commonwealth Amount of 600 USD. The previous ERA made payments to approximately 9,000 childcare workers, so this reorganization will greatly expand that reach at a time of great need.

“Childcare workers shape and care for our youngest minds in some of their most formative years, and a safe, loving childcare center can be an extension of the family for parents and children who depend on their work,” said Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller. “I am incredibly grateful that we can reallocate this federal funding to support childcare workers, and I urge all providers to apply for this facility on behalf of their employees.

Eligible employees include childcare workers who:

  1. Are employed by a licensed childcare worker from January 1, 2021;
  2. Earn less than or equal to a gross salary of $ 70,000 per year. and,
  3. Work with a licensed child carer for at least 20 hours per week.

Childcare workers currently licensed and certified through OCDEL can begin applying on behalf of their eligible employees. All requests must be sent to the provider’s ELRC and received by February 12, 2021. The COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Award is given based on availability. Funds are distributed regionally and are limited, so applicants are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later.

In addition to repurposing these existing funds, since the COVID-19 crisis in Pennsylvania began, approximately $ 220 million in CARES funding has been allocated to support childcare workers across Pennsylvania to build this vital educational and economic infrastructure for children and families across the Commonwealth to support. The CARES funding distribution methodology was based in part on the findings of researchers at the Penn State Harrisburg Institute of State and Regional Affairs studying the impact of COVID-19 on the childcare industry in Pennsylvania.

On December 27, 2020, the federal government allocated an additional $ 10 billion to support childcare. States should get their share of the additional funds that will be made available in the coming weeks.

For more information on childcare workers working in the public health field during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit www.dhs.pa.gov.

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