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Economic importance of child care touted by state Human Services Secretary

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Meg Snead recently emphasize the important roll child care providers and educators play in the state’s economic recovery.

“Because of child care and early learning providers who kept their doors open, essential workers had the peace of mind to know their children were safe while they staffed our hospitals, stocked our grocery shelves and responded to our emergency calls,” said Snead. “A thriving child care industry is foundational to the rest of our economy, and this industry and the dedicated educators who show up every day to help our children grow will be essential for our recovery from this pandemic.”

She noted that earlier this year, Pennsylvania distributed $303 million from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 to support child care. Child care providers also received three distinct payments from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, totaling $220 million.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such care has been associated with increases in maternal employment and income; savings in health care costs; improvement in health outcomes associated with education; earnings gains after high school graduation; and better jobs and higher earnings throughout employment years for children participating in these programs.

DHS is finalizing its plan for distribution of more than $1.2 billion in funds contained within the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for Pennsylvania child care providers. Snead said more information will be released in a few weeks.

Stacy Wescoe
Writer Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at [email protected] or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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