Washington DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced the passage of a bipartisan measure that helps nearly 55,000 Pennsylvania families afford child care each month. The historically bipartisan legislation, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), helps parents work and drive the economy while affording child care. Senator Casey included provisions in the bill that increase investments in early education. The measure passed the Senate 88-1.
“I’m pleased that the Senate came together in a bipartisan fashion to pass this critical legislation,” Senator Casey said. “Increased investment in early education will help children learn more now and earn more later. Putting in place these policies will serve as a foundation for future economic growth. Helping a child learn at a young age puts them on a pathway to success in a way that few other efforts can match.”
Each month in Pennsylvania, CCDBG funding supports approximately 93,000 children, and over 1.5 million children nation-wide. The program helps parents, giving them access to child care so that the parents can work to support their families, yet CCDBG has not been reauthorized since 1996.
Children who qualify for a subsidy will receive a year of care before their eligibility is re-determined, promoting stability and continuity for the entire family and encouraging the child to develop strong relationships with his or her teachers and peers in child care. This is especially important for Pennsylvania’s children, as the state recently reduced its “redetermination period” from 12 months to 6 months.
In addition to the new one year eligibility period, key Casey provisions include:
- Designated Funding for Quality Improvements. The final bill more than doubles the funding for activities that improve the quality of childcare providers.
- Designated Funding for Infants and Toddlers. The final bill creates a designated fund of 3 percent for childcare for infants and toddlers.
- Increased Authorizations. The final bill authorizes higher levels of annual appropriations for CCDBG – approximately 16% over 6 years.