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PA Child Care Providers Push for Fair Funding

PA Child Care Providers Push for Fair Funding
By Kevin Zapf Hanes ·

AFSCME members in Philadelphia are keeping up the pressure for fair and adequate funding in the state budget for child care and early education services. 

Dozens of child care professionals represented by Child Care Providers United (CCPU) and activists from the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC) held a rally in Philadelphia last week to make their case.

Photo credit: Fernando Bribiesca

“As quality child care providers, we are the first step in bridging the school achievement gap for disadvantaged children,” said Anita Caraway, a Philadelphia-based child care provider. “We are the support system that allows parents to work and contribute to our state’s economy. We are the key that opens the door to a family’s ongoing success.”

More than 1,000 family and group home providers have shut their doors since 2011, following years of inadequate funding in the state budget.

“Child care providers work diligently to provide quality care and educational services in a safe environment, often at our own expense,” said Kelley Burnett, a three-star child care provider from Philadelphia County. “We have not seen a base rate increase in over 10 years. The state can and must do more to support those who are on the front lines in helping working Pennsylvanians and their families succeed and thrive.”

State Rep. Jared Solomon, who represents Philadelphia, supports the cause.

"We as a community need to assure that the children of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania have access to safe and affordable childcare,” he said at the Oct. 21 rally. “Our child care providers play a vital role in the lives of children and the communities where they live and provide services.”

CCPU and advocates call on the legislature to end the annual budget fights to fund child care adequately and guarantee funding through the designation of a revenue stream specifically for child care. CCPU represents more than 2,000 members across Pennsylvania, including home-based child care providers, such as group, family, and relative/neighbor providers.

Photo credit: Fernando Bribiesca

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