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2021-22 Legislative Session Coming to an End 

The final voting day of the 2021-22 legislative session is Wednesday, Oct. 26. During the fall session, legislators focused on election law, crime and wrapping up other loose ends leading up to the mid-term elections.

PPC is closely following two bills in the hopes they reach the governor’s desk imminently: HB 1866 by Rep. Boback (R-Luzerne), which would help older foster youth find permanency, and SB 522 by Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne), which would create a universal lead screening mandate. As of today, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved HB 1866—it needs a final vote on the Senate floor, and SB 522 is awaiting consideration in the House Appropriations Committee and then a final vote in the House. If the bills do not receive final consideration in the next day, they will need to be reintroduced in the next session in January, restarting the legislative process. Follow us on Twitter for real-time updates on these pieces of priority legislation.

The House and Senate will adjourn until after the general election on November 8th and return the week of November 14th for legislative leadership elections. It is not anticipated any further activity on legislation will occur during this time.

The race for majority Appropriations Committee Chair in the House and Senate is of particular importance—it is a powerful position that will impact all of PPC's policy priorities over the next legislative session. The positions are open in both chambers after the primary election defeats of Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) and Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York). We will provide mid-term and leadership election results and updates in the coming weeks.


ECE Caucus Event Bids Farewell to Chairs Browne and Longietti

The Early Learning PA (ELPA) coalition joined members of the Early Care and Education (ECE) Caucus for a special event to thank outgoing co-chairs Rep. Mark Longietti (D-Mercer) and Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) for their tireless advocacy on behalf of early childhood education. ELPA co-chairs Jen DeBell, Executive Director of PennAEYC, and Steve Doster, State Director for Mission: Readiness, along with PPC President & CEO Kari King, thanked both policymakers for their service and unwavering dedication to advancing early childhood education issues, including high-quality pre-k, child care and evidence-based home visiting.


2022 Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap

The Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at Vanderbilt Peabody College of Education and Human Development released its third annual Policy Roadmap to guide state leaders in investing to optimize child well-being. The Roadmap can help states foster nurturing environments for infants and toddlers while reducing racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in access to quality services and long-term outcomes. This is done by comparing state achievement of various policies and strategies deemed the most effective at promoting equitable opportunities for all young children to thrive.

The policies include:

  • Expanding income eligibility for health insurance
  • Reducing the administrative burden for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Enacting paid family leave
  • Increasing state minimum wage
  • Implementing a state Earned Income Tax Credit

Effective strategies include investing in comprehensive screening and connection programs, providing child care subsidies, providing financial support for group prenatal care, emphasizing evidence-based home visiting programs, providing financial support for Early Head Start and maximizing the use of Medicaid to pay for Early Intervention services.

The Pennsylvania Roadmap shows it has expanded income eligibility for Medicaid and now offers three policies to reduce the administrative burden for SNAP; however, it has not adopted and fully implemented any of the other recommended policies or strategies.

The report also includes state rankings on access to needed services, parental ability to work, sufficient household resources, healthy and equitable births, parental health and emotional well-being, nursing and responsive child-parent relationships, nurturing and responsive child care in safe settings and optimal child health and development.

Most notably, Pennsylvania ranks 1st for the maltreatment rate per 1,000 children under age 3 (1.9) and 6th for the percentage of children under age 3 not up-to-date on immunizations (21.2%). The state has improved its ranking since last year for the rate of babies born preterm (9.6%), the number of infant deaths per 1,000 births (5.5), the percentage of children under age 3 whose mother reports fair or poor mental health (3.8%) and the percentage of children not nurtured daily (39.7%). Pennsylvania ranks 48th for the percentage of households reporting child food insecurity (11.7%), which only slightly improved from 51st in 2021.


Child Welfare Indicators Updated on KIDS COUNT® Data Center

Check out our data webpage to access updates to all Child Abuse and Neglect indicators and Out-of-Home Placement indicators (within Safety and Risky Behaviors) in the Pennsylvania KIDS COUNT® Data Center. This information comes from our State of Child Welfare report.


You Can Help Design the 2030 Census!

Here are four easy ways to help the U.S. Census Bureau design a better 2030 Census:

  1. Share your recommendations: Respond to the Federal Register Notice (FRN) by November 15.
  2. Join a virtual workshop: Register for one of six virtual workshops to share your ideas.
  3. Promote the virtual workshops: Share this link on social media and with members of your community.
  4. Host a workshop: Use this toolkit to collect ideas by November 15.

Data Did You Know?

Source: Pre-K for PA - 2022 Maps and Fact Sheets (arcgis.com)


In Case You Missed It...

  • OCDEL recently announced a second round of Workforce Support Grants are available, the result of $90 million in remaining one-time ARPA stimulus funds being directed to child care in the 2022-23 state budget. The grants are aimed at improving recruitment and retention in the child care field and applications are due by December 6th. Learn more from the PA KEY.
  • A Philadelphia Inquirer story highlights home visiting programs, lived experiences, and advocates urging Congress to reauthorize funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program set to expire in December.
  • The COVID-19 public health emergency declaration has been extended for another 90 days, running through January 2023, allowing continuous coverage in Medicaid along with telehealth and other temporary flexibilities to continue. Check out Medicaid.gov for the latest CMS guidance and helpful resources.
  • Spotlight PA reviews the governor candidates' positions on health issues, including Medicaid, noting the next governor's role in managing a return to the regular Medicaid renewal process when the public health emergency ends.
  • Read the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities blog about how More Families Will Spend Less on Health Care Premiums Thanks to a Fix for the "Family Glitch." It shows the affordability threshold to determine financial assistance eligibility will finally be based on the entire family instead of self-only coverage.
  • The Continuing Resolution to fund the government through December 16th extends the increased fruit and vegetable WIC benefits for families. The benefits include a slight bump for participants, with children now receiving $25, pregnancy and postpartum participants receiving $44, and breastfeeding participants receiving $49 per month in fruit and vegetable benefits. Advocates are pushing to make these increased benefits available for the fiscal year 2023.
  • DOH issued a new state registrar notice outlining how current and former youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems can access vital records without paying a fee.
  • According to a new investigative report, mandated reporting has caused an increase in reports of child neglect, often for non-safety reasons such as poverty, which disproportionately impacts low-income communities and families of color.

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
200 North Third Street 13th Floor
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101
(717) 236-5680

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