Shapiro-Davis Budget Would Make Childcare More Affordable

February 12, 2024

Lt. Gov. Austin Davis Leads Early Learning Investment Commission’s First Meeting of 2024, Highlights Proposed Investments in Childcare in Shapiro-Davis Budget

Harrisburg, PA Lt. Gov. Austin Davis kicked off his first meeting as co-chair of the Early Learning Investment Commission (ELIC) today by highlighting how the Shapiro-Davis budget boosts funding for Pre-K Counts, Child Care Works, and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance programs to help support the childcare workforce and support Pennsylvania’s youngest learners.

“As a new dad, I’ve seen firsthand how important having affordable, high-quality childcare is for parents, and as the lieutenant governor, I’ve heard from employers across the Commonwealth how important it is for our workforce,” said Lieutenant Governor Davis. “Working with the members of the Early Learning Investment Commission, we are going to keep elevating this issue because childcare is a critical piece of infrastructure that enables the rest of our economy to function and sets the stage for our kids to grow and thrive. The Governor’s budget plan makes smart, targeted investments to ensure we have enough workers to meet the demand for childcare.”

“As a physician and honorary co-chair of the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission, I applaud Governor Shapiro for his commitment to early learning and quality childcare,” said Dr. Janet Haas. “I look forward to working with Lieutenant Governor Davis and the Commission to make important strides for Pennsylvania’s young children and their families.

The Shapiro-Davis budget:

  • Invests $96,000 in state dollars to leverage $62 million in federal funding to increase reimbursement rates for providers in Child Care Works, the state program that helps low-income families pay their childcare fees;
  • Calls for an additional $32.4 million for the Pre-K Counts program, which provides quality half-day and full-day pre-kindergarten for eligible three- and four-year-olds; and
  • Provides an additional $2.7 million for the Head Start Supplemental Assistance program, which provides state funding to Head Start programs that serve three- and four-year-olds living in families at or below the federal poverty line.

In December, Gov. Josh Shapiro signed Executive Order 2023-22 to reinvigorate ELIC and appointed Davis to serve as co-chair of the commission.

Executive Order 2023-22 aims to help the Commonwealth coordinate with business and civic leaders and organizations in early learning advocate for investment at the state and local level by directing the ELIC to develop and recommend a plan and implementation strategy. As part of the plan and implementation strategy, the ELIC must formalize recommendations to: 

  • Stabilize the early childcare workforce and increase access to affordable, available and accessible childcare for all Pennsylvania families, regardless of income;
  • Ensure the availability of universal pre-K for Pennsylvania children; and
  • Expand the availability of all-day kindergarten in all Pennsylvania public school districts and charter schools.

# # #

SHARE Email Facebook Twitter