In April 2018, the Department of Education and Department of Human Services Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) announced release of the draft Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) state plan. The Child Care Development Block Grant is one of the primary federal funding sources for monitoring regulated child care programs, child care subsidy through Child Care Works, and child care quality improvement through Keystone STARS.
Public hearings were held in Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Homestead and provided ECE stakeholders an opportunity to learn more about what the state plan is and why it is important, as well as to provide testimony regarding what is in the state plan. Jamese Kwele of The Food Trust provided testimony on May 8 in Philadelphia in support of the following recommendations:
- Expanding funding for the child care subsidy program to increase access to high-quality child care for lower-income families;
- Increasing reimbursement rates for child care subsidies to better reflect the true cost of quality ECE; and
- Applying CCDBG funding towards Farm to ECE resources, including professional development, training and technical assistance to support healthy eating in early childhood settings.