Lawmakers introduce bill that would provide funding for child care centers, as pandemic-related aid set to come to end

WFMZ / By Justin Backover
September 13, 2023

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Many child care centers will be hitting a cliff at the end of the month. That’s when $24 billion in pandemic-related aid will come to an end.

“Betty Druckenmiller, Director of the Children’s Center Volunteers of America in Allentown, is worried that many child care centers barely hanging on may soon close, as funds included in the American Rescue Plan to support them lapses at the end of the month.”

“The worst impact that I’ve seen is that 1/3 of the centers nationally could close and that could affect as many as 3 million children,” she said.

“It allowed us to stay open, increase staff wages a little bit, to have more money to clean things, which is of course a huge issue.”

Even with the additional funds, Druckenmiller says it’s hard for most to get enough funding to retain staff, forcing classrooms to sit empty and wait lists to get longer.

“Most programs across the city and the state have empty classrooms and some of that is there is not the level of funding necessary to pay teachers what they’re really worth for a person with a college degree,” said Druckenmiller.

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