Founded in 1987, Child Care Consultants (CCC) oversees the Early Learning Resource Center for Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties, ensuring that all families have access to affordable, high-quality child care choices that lead to success in school and life.
Each month, CCC is also responsible for the Child Care Works program, which helps low-income working families pay for childcare; resource and referral services; and Keystone STARS, the continuous quality improvement program.
In 2020, as the impacts of COVID-19 grew, CCC was called upon to oversee four rounds of CARES funding, as well as American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) payments to early childhood education programs in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties.
In addition to paying out $5 million in regular monthly Child CareWorks funds, CCC was suddenly tasked with also reviewing, processing and monitoring an additional $30-plus million in CARES and ARPA funds. As a result, their budget increased from approximately $86 million in FY 2020 to $115 million in 2021. In addition, the CCC was being sought out by many local businesses and individuals to find open child care programs so that essential workers could continue to work.
“We knew that we had to remain open, continue to process payments so programs could remain open to serve the children of essential workers,” said Christy Renjilan, CCC’s Executive Director. “And that’s what we did.”
While quickly transitioning to a remote working model, CCC adopted innovative management and leadership practices, which included utilizing new methods of communication to stay in touch with staff and maintain and enhance relationships. In doing so, CCC was able to create processes to administer the additional funds and assume the added duties without increasing staff.
Other innovative management practices included cross training staff; utilization of tracking tools, spreadsheets and reports to monitor processes; and working across departments to share ideas with other managers and the executive director.