To Solve the Child Care Crisis…Apr 12, 2024



Pennsylvania’s Election Season is underway. With the Primary Election around the corner (April 23rd), it’s important to remember that there’s more to the 2024 Election than a Biden/Trump rematch.

Commonwealth voters will go to the polls in November to select their state lawmakers who wield tremendous influence on how Pennsylvania prioritizes children and teens.

For example, the child care crisis persists because leaders in Harrisburg have yet to seriously invest in helping parents afford quality care. Parents look for a good place that they trust to care for their kids but face two problems: the available centers are expensive and affordable places don’t have any openings.

At a Delco roundtable conversation last week, parents and providers discussed this lose-lose situation with lawmakers. “I would love to be working full-time but I can’t afford it,” said Megan Ross, a mom of two children and a college-educated chemist. “I can only afford to put one of them, part-time, in my child care and it’s frustrating.”

It’s a vicious cycle – child care providers can’t keep fees low and pay staff a living wage, so they have to either boost prices, or lose staff and turn parents away. The average wage for child care workers in Pennsylvania is $12.43/hour which says it all about why qualified early learning teachers are abandoning the field they love.

The owner of Sonshine Christian Academy (child care) said that she’s stopped keeping waiting lists. “I can’t keep counting pennies to see if I am able to pay my staff this month or this week.”

Fortunately, there is something that WE can do…become a Child Care Voter today and vote in November!

Child Care Voters is a nonpartisan movement that is mobilizing thousands of parents and supporters to deliver an ultimatum to candidates: “You have to support great child care to get my support.”  But we’re not waiting for Election Day. Already this year, Child Care Voters has been meeting with legislators in Harrisburg and engaging voters to lay the foundation for a robust campaign season.

Here’s what you can do now to help parents like Megan. Join the Child Care Voter Facebook group, Instagram page, or email list.

And send us your story! Record yourself on your cell phone and send us the video so we can inundate lawmakers with messages from their constituents about solving the child care crisis.

November is months off, but the child care crisis is today. Join Child Care Voters and make an impact in the lives of children and families!

The Justice in Education fellows are asking for your support in the fight for fair education funding. Add your name to their legislative petition for equitable school funding and sign up for other ways you can have an impact.

Lunchables – a popular lunch for kids and an item available to millions of children through the national School Lunch Program – contain high levels of lead

It’s time to celebrate the people who are making Pennsylvania a better place for children and teens.

You’re invited to the Celebration of the 2024 Champions for Children event for food, networking, entertainment, and a chance to recognize Vanguard and other champions!

Get your tickets or become a valued sponsor!

“Pennsylvania has a demographic crisis – it’s
an aging population and we’re losing young
people. They’re graduating college and going
somewhere else. They’re taking jobs in New
Jersey instead of Pennsylvania and we have
to review in the entire Commonwealth how
our policies attract these the people and
keep them in Pennsylvania.”

State Representative Joe Hogan (R-Bucks)
on his support of paid family leave