PennAEYC Press Releases

New Survey: Vast Majority of PA Child Care Centers Currently Experiencing Staffing Shortage

Swift action needed by PA officials to stabilize sector and ensure families can return to work

PennAEYC, Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children | Harrisburg, PA | August 16, 2021 — Four out of every five child care providers in Pennsylvania are currently experiencing a staffing shortage, according to a recent survey of 7,500 early childhood educators nationwide from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The survey demonstrates how the child care sector is struggling to recruit and retain teachers and essential staff, as well as maintain financial stability. The current state of child care poses a major obstacle to working families and rebuilding the economy from the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More: Child Care Survey 8-16-21 Final

PennAEYC in the News

Central PA Business Journal | September 23, 2021 — There is a childcare shortage in Pennsylvania and across the nation. The COVID pandemic caused childcare centers to shutter, many permanently. The extra unemployment benefits kept some caregivers from returning to work. Wages for childcare workers are low, pushing many to change careers.

All of this is causing an economic squeeze on businesses here and across the country as workers who can’t find childcare stay home with their children. So what can be done?

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Federal Child Care Funds Critical to Reopening and Rebuilding PA

Blue Valley Times | Allentown, PA | September 14, 2021 — Volunteers of America Children’s Center and the Pennsylvania As- sociation for the Education of Young Children (PennAEYC) will co-host a tour and roundtable discussion describing the current state of child care in the Lehigh Valley.

U.S. Congresswoman Susan Wild will participate in a tour and roundtable at Volunteers of America Children’s Center to learn about the on-going challenges with recruiting and retaining staff, under-enrollment and continued pandemic related expenses.

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Federal Child Care Funds Critical to Reopening and Rebuilding PA

THE VALLEY LEDGER | Allentown, PA | September 13, 2021 – On Friday, September 17, 2021, Volunteers of America Children’s Center and the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children (PennAEYC) will co-host a tour and roundtable discussion describing the current state of child care in the Lehigh Valley.

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Child care staffing shortage could make it harder for people to go back to work

WILLIAMSPORT SUN-GAZETTE | September 4, 2021 – Child care centers across the Lehigh Valley and beyond are facing an uphill battle to get their facilities staffed as parents return to working in offices and drop their children off for in-person classes.

Staffing levels are critical for child care centers, which are required to have low ratios of children to adults. People in the industry say conditions both pandemic- and non-pandemic-related combined to create a crisis.

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Cartwright advocates for funding for child care centers


Cartwright touts need for child care, early learning in Plains Twp. visit

Times Leader | September 3, 2021 Sarah Valonis put a very human face to the call for more affordable child care, talking of her daughter pulled from the Building Blocks Learning Center program during the pandemic.

The girl seemed to disappear at home, until the Laflin mother found her under the dining room table crying, a math workbook nearby.

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The Pandemic ‘Blew the House of Cards All the Way Down’ for Mothers. Can Joe Biden Build It Back Better?

The Keystone | August 27, 2021 Moms are not okay. The pandemic has taken a toll and they are exhausted and struggling to find affordable child care. But help could be on the way, as President Joe Biden has a plan to pass a once-in-a-generation investment to help working families.

Pick a night of the week—any night—and odds are high that Stephanie Lane is “touched out.”

For nearly a year and a half, Lane has focused much of her energy in keeping her three younger children happy, healthy, and engaged amid a pandemic. By the end of the day, the 43-year-old Harrisburg area mom often feels exhausted from being constantly grabbed at by her kids.


Casey pushes for federal funding for early childhood education during Scranton preschool visit

The Scranton Times-Tribune | August 23, 2021 U.S. Sen. Bob Casey sat on a tiny blue chair and started to build a home for the Three Little Pigs...

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Child care staffing shortage could make it harder for people to go back to work

The Morning Call | August 22, 2021

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Sen. Bob Casey touts legislative plan aimed at helping kids during visit to Centre County

Centre Daily Times | August 18, 2021 Senator Bob Casey, D-Pa., stopped in Centre County Tuesday and visited Step by Step School for Early Learning to talk about the importance of quality early childhood education.

Casey spoke about his “Five Freedoms for America’s Children” agenda, an update of what his office announced in early 2020 that reflects the COVID-19 pandemic as well as some progress that has been made, he said.

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Sen. Bob Casey touts legislative plan aimed at helping kids during visit to Centre County

State College | August 17, 2021 Senator Bob Casey, D-Pa., stopped in Centre County Tuesday and visited Step by Step School for Early Learning to talk about the importance of quality early childhood education.

Casey spoke about his “Five Freedoms for America’s Children” agenda, an update of what his office announced in early 2020 that reflects the COVID-19 pandemic as well as some progress that has been made, he said.

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High quality childcare learning centers struggling to fill essential roles

CBS 21News | August 2, 2021 — Childcare providers are struggling to fill essential staff roles and maintain financial stability, but it can be particularly challenging for high quality learning centers.

Only 42% of Pennsylvania’s childcare capacity is high quality, in part due to lack of specialty workers that help maintain a three or four star state rating.

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Gov. Wolf and advocates celebrate investments in early childhood education

CBS 21News | , 202 — Governor Wolf, advocates, and legislative members gathered at the YMCA in Reading to celebrate a $30 million dollar increase in early childhood education funding.

This new funding will allow 3,270 new children to enroll in early learning program.

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PA Child-Care Providers: State Budget Falls Short for Youngest Learners

Public News Service | July 6, 2021 — Gov. Tom Wolf signed the new state budget last week, which includes a historic $416 million increase in public-education funding.

While the investment was praised by some, child-care providers say the budget missed the mark in their field. They also want to ensure the $1.2 billion dollars the state received from the American Rescue Plan for child-care centers gets to them as soon as possible.

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State Budget Signing Disappoints Child-Care Providers

The Post | July 6, 2021— Although the state budget signed last week by Gov. Tom Wolf included an historic $416 million increase in public-education funding, child-care providers say the budget missed the mark in their field. Child-care line items got no state-budget increases despite being devastated by the pandemic, according to Jen DeBell, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children.

Because child-care centers face a critical need for $1.2 billion in federal funds now available under the American Rescue Plan, DeBell hopes the state begins distributing them as soon as possible.

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PA Child-Care Providers: State Budget Falls Short for Youngest Learners

bctv.org | July 8, 2021— Gov. Tom Wolf signed the new state budget last week, which includes a historic $416 million increase in public-education funding.

While the investment was praised by some, child-care providers say the budget missed the mark in their field. They also want to ensure the $1.2 billion dollars the state received from the American Rescue Plan for child-care centers gets to them as soon as possible.

Read More...


CHILD CARE IN CRISIS | 'Broken economic model': Parents, centers caught in struggle over high costs and low wages

The Tribune-Democrat | June 20, 202 — Jody Jurgevich sees fast-food restaurants offering work incentives and sign-on bonuses and hopes her employees don’t leave.

“Here we are in child care, where workers don’t get offered much more over minimum wage and they don’t get benefits,” she said.

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Advocates Want To Build Stronger Child Care System In Pennsylvania

KDKA CBS 2 Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh, PA | June 18, 2021 — Child care providers ensure our little ones remain safe, engaged and actively learning.

But more than 600 locked their doors statewide during the coronavirus pandemic, unable to accept the infants and toddlers born to parents who still had to work.

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Local Early Childhood Sector To Receive $4.4 Million From Heinz Endowments

WESA 90.5 | June 10, 2021 — Providing child care became even more expensive during the pandemic. Centers were closed during lockdowns, while enrollment overall decreased as safety protocols and the cost of supplies grew.

The sector was already operating with thin margins when the pandemic focused new attention on the critical role it plays in the region's overall economic health.

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Philadelphia pre-Ks could see millions in federal dollars. Parents and providers weigh in on how to spend it.

Chalkbeat Philadelphia | Philadelphia, PA | 

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Childhood development center sees the effects of a year at home

WjAC - wearecentralpa.com | Centre County, PA | May 11, 2021The importance of high-quality early childhood education has been a hot topic in government, as studies show these are pivotal years for development. Nationally, President Biden promotes universally accessible Pre-K education.

Echoing the importance of early learning, the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children, and local development center, The Learning Station, met with Representative Kerry Benninghoff today, to discuss their progress and concerns.

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Heinz Endowments grants of $4.4 million target child care, education programs

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | May 11, 2021The Heinz Endowments is awarding $4.4 million in grants for child-care and education initiatives, saying those sectors were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and need more funding than what state and federal sources provide.

“The pandemic ripped open the curtain on the precarious state of our nation’s early childhood care and education system, and has made abundantly clear how essential that system is to the healthy development of America’s children, and to the future of our economy,” Grant Oliphant, the endowments’ president, said in a statement announcing the new funding round.

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Pa. child care providers give feedback on challenges they face amid pandemic

 | Early-education advocates in Pennsylvania are trying to find a way to build a stronger child care system through the American Rescue Plan.

Start Strong PA and the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children held a virtual call Thursday for child care providers and the families they serve.

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Rep. Sonney discusses the importance of investing in early education

FOX66 WFXP WJET | YourErie.com | Erie, PA | May 6, 2021A panel came together with a local Representative Thursday to discuss the importance of investing in early education.

Representative Curt Sonney met with multiple members of the Erie Community virtually Thursday, including Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri and Michelle Harkins the Executive Director of Early Connections.

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Early childhood educators invited to participate in year-long, monthly virtual workshop series

The Daily American | January 3, 2021For early learning workers in rural communities, access to ongoing training is critical to building the skills necessary to deliver high quality care. It is also hard to come by.

To address the challenge and improve quality of care for all children, The Learning Lamp and Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children (PennAEYC) will launch Insights and Innovations — An ECE Conference Workshop Series beginning in January 2021. The workshops can be accessed virtually by any provider, no matter how rural, so long as they have access to the Internet.

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