Make Your Voice Heard and Sign-On To Ask Congress to Increase Federal Child Care Funding

Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation

Please join us today by adding your organization’s name to the Pennsylvania sign-on letter advocating for increased federal child care funding.

What is happening?

You helped achieve the historic increase in funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funds in federal fiscal years 2018 and 2019. We need to build off that success and advocate for increased discretionary CCDBG funding in federal fiscal year 2020 so that we can continue to address unmet needs. Advocates across the country are asking Congress to increase CCDBG funding by $5 billion.

To accomplish this goal, the Budget Control Act caps on non-defense discretionary spending would need to be lifted to provide for such an increase in the Labor/Health and Human Services/Education appropriations bill.

Why does it matter?

The additional funding would help Pennsylvania children and families access and afford high-quality child care and further support child care programs and teachers. PACCA is collaborating with our partner early care and education advocacy organizations to gather signatures for a letter to our congressional delegation.

By providing us with your contact information, your organization will be included on the letter that will be delivered to each member of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation. If you are authorized to sign-on your organization to a letter to Congress -- Join Us.

Please sign your organization on to the letter by Wed., Feb. 13 COB! Your voice matters!

Sponsored by

To: Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation
From: [Your Name]

February XX, 2019

Dear Senator/Representative:

The historic increase in discretionary funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) in FY 2018 and FY 2019 is greatly benefiting children and families in Pennsylvania. We urge you to build on this progress and address continuing gaps by prioritizing increasing CCDBG funding by an additional $5 billion in the FY 2020 appropriations bill. This funding increase will further expand access to affordable, high-quality child care that gives children a quality educational foundation, allows parents to work and strengthens our economy.

The new federal funding allocated to Pennsylvania is being used for several purposes. First, provider subsidy payment rates were increased across all care levels by 2.5 percent and a rate freeze which existed for some providers was lifted. A new pilot program was created to contract for high-quality slots for infants and toddlers participating in the subsidized child care program to determine if a new fiscal model will bring financial stability to providers and improve access to high-quality programs for children. Funding was also allocated to support high-quality professional development for child care teachers. Finally, funding is being used to implement the background check requirements under the CCDBG reauthorization.

***NOTE – An additional sentence or two may be added to describe how the Wolf administration proposes to use the remaining, unspent CCDBG funds.***

However, total funding for child care (including CCDBG funds and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds used for child care) in FY 2018 remained nearly $1 billion short of the total funding level in FY 2001 after adjusting for inflation. In Pennsylvania, this has meant continued unmet need for children and families, child care programs and teachers. There is a child care subsidy waiting list of over 4,300 children and an average waiting time of 88 days as of November 2018. In addition, only one-third of children receiving subsidized care were in high-quality programs based on 2018 data. We also know payment rates fall far short of what is necessary to support high-quality care and that further investments are needed to appropriately compensate the child care workforce and support teachers to reach higher degrees and credentials.

To allow for an increase in child care funding, it is essential that you also support an overall increase in the budgetary caps on domestic spending and a proportionate increase in funding to the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education appropriations bill. Such steps are necessary to ensure that increased investments in child care do not come at the expense of other crucial supports for families and children.

Every Pennsylvania child deserves an equal opportunity to a quality educational foundation that will prepare them to grow, learn and succeed. We look forward to working with you to advance this investment in child care.