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Thriving PA Campaign Launched to Highlight Perinatal, Children’s Health Issues

PPC is excited to announce the launch of Thriving PA, a non-partisan, statewide campaign that seeks to improve the quality of and increase equitable access to a coordinated system of health supports, including access to comprehensive perinatal health services, children’s health insurance, nutrition supports and lead screening and abatement.

Along with our other partners Allies for Children, Maternity Care Coalition and Public Citizens for Children and Youth, this campaign combines our perinatal and children’s health work through Pennsylvania’s broader prenatal-to-age-three collaborative – thank you to all of the organizations and individuals that help make this work possible! Moving forward we will look to integrate the campaign within the umbrella of Early Learning PA, a broad-based coalition that advocates for access to voluntary, high-quality early care and education opportunities for all Pennsylvania children and families.

Check out the Thriving PA website and please give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  

We will keep you updated of the campaign’s progress as we work to ensure each mother and child in Pennsylvania has the opportunity for affordable, quality health care access!


Unacknowledged Protectors: Consequences and Costs of Turnover in the Child Welfare Workforce

Front-line workers, those we think of as essential in our communities and across the Commonwealth, include the child welfare caseworkers who hold high-stress, low-reward jobs to help the children and families they serve. High rates of turnover in this field create long-term consequences in practice, policy, and state and county budgets.

Our latest fact sheet uncovers the complex challenges that these essential workers experience in daily work and highlights what is needed to better attract and retain high-quality staff. Ultimately, investing in this workforce is an investment in the children and families that they serve, but solutions will take time and require resources from stakeholders and policymakers to make it a reality.


There were 24,665 children served in Pennsylvania’s foster care system in 2019. The largest population of children was ages 0-5, which is the most vulnerable age group. However, almost one-third of the population is made up of transition age youth, or older youth transiting to adulthood. Placing children in a family-based setting is the best option for a child, preferably if they are placed with a relative or someone with whom they already have an established relationship. As we celebrate National Foster Care Month, we thank those caregivers who step in and step up to care for children when they cannot safely remain with their primary caretakers.

Save the Date! PPC’s annual State of Child Welfare report will be released in June.


Childhood Begins at Home Webinar Covers Budget Advocacy

PPC Vice President of Public Policy Becky Ludwick and Government Affairs Directors Kati Brillhart and Justin Fleming presented a webinar to home visitors discussing the importance of meeting with legislators about the need for additional investments in the FY 2021-22 state budget to expand home visiting programs to reach more pregnant women, children and families in Pennsylvania.

Currently, only 5% of eligible children and families statewide are able to receive evidence-based home visiting services.

On the webinar, PPC staff provided background information about the Childhood Begins at Home campaign and prior funding wins, as well as provided tips and talking points for meeting with legislators to effectively advocate for an additional $6.3 million in state funding to expand voluntary, evidence-based home visiting.

The webinar can be viewed here, and questions about budget and legislative advocacy can be directed to Kati Brillhart at kbrillhart@papartnerships.org or Justin Fleming at jfleming@papartnerships.org.


Join Start Strong PA for Child Care Provider and Family Forums

Start Strong PA, a statewide child care campaign of which PPC is a partner, is seeking feedback from child care providers and the families they serve to make recommendations to the Wolf Administration for how the historic investments for child care through the recently passed American Rescue Plan should be spent in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is slated to receive $1.18 billion in federal funding, which the Start Strong PA campaign hopes will stabilize and create a more equitable child care sector, and ensure Pennsylvania families have access to care for years to come.

Please help us spread the word so providers and parents can make their voices heard on the best use of those funds, by sharing the online forum information below:

  • Thursday, May 6th, 1 pm to 2:30 pm
    • Counties:  Cumberland, Dauphin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder and Union, How to register
    • Counties:  Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming, How to register
  • Friday, May 7th, 11:30 am to 1 pm
    • Counties:  Clarion, Crawford, Forest, Elk, Erie, Jefferson, McKean, Mercer, Venango and Warren
      How to register
  • Friday, May 7th, 1:30 pm to 3 pm
  • Tuesday, May 11th, 10 am to 11:30 am
    • Counties: Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland, How to register
  • Monday, May 17th, 12:30 pm to 2 pm
    • Counties:  Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Potter, Sullivan and Tioga, How to register

Thank you for helping us ensure child care is accessible to all families!


Biden Administration Announces American Families Plan

As a follow-up from our last e-news edition where we covered President Biden’s American Jobs Plan infrastructure proposal and its elements pertaining to child care, last week the administration quickly followed-up in releasing the second half of the ambitious plan, titled the American Families Plan.

Coming in at a price tag of $1.9 trillion, the proposal is expected to have a longer negotiation runway in Congress than its American Jobs Plan counterpart, which is still courting bipartisan support. With additional costs and more controversial elements around paid family leave and health care, the American Families Plan will likely look to the budget reconciliation process later this year, where a simple majority vote (i.e. no Republican support) is needed.

Components of interest to PPC in the American Families Plan include:

  • Pre-k: Universal Pre-k for all 3- and 4-year-olds, which has a $2 billion cost for high-quality programs to provide teachers at least $15/hour and those with comparable qualifications a salary commensurate of a kindergarten teacher.
  • Child care:
    • Affordability – Families pay a portion of their income on a sliding scale, ranging from being fully covered to being capped at no more than 7% of income.
    • Quality – Providers will receive funding to cover the true cost of quality early childhood care and education.
    • Workforce – The above noted wage requirements in pre-k as well as professional development opportunities.
  • National Comprehensive Paid Family and Medical Leave Program: Guarantees 12 weeks of paid parental, family and personal leave by year ten of the program, and ensures workers get three days of bereavement leave per year starting in year one. Provides workers up to $4,000 a month, with a minimum of two-thirds of average weekly wages replaced, rising to 80% for the lowest wage workers.
  • Nutrition: Expands School Meal Programs by amending the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) to allow for free meals in the highest poverty school districts. It also makes the Summer Pandemic-EBT plan permanent, which was provided for in the American Rescue plan and would ensure millions of children receiving free and reduced-price meals would be able to receive them through the summer.
  • Tax credits: Extends the Child Tax Credit increases provided for in the American Rescue Plan through 2025, and permanently increases the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

Stay tuned for further updates from PPC on federal activity.


In Case You Missed It...

  • The Senate Education Committee held two additional hearings on K-12 education reform, the first of which included advocates and educators in the eastern region followed by members in the western region.
  • ZERO TO THREE released its State of Babies Yearbook: 2021, a state-by-state analysis of the well-being of infants and toddlers. Read Pennsylvania’s profile here.
  • A story in the Daily Item highlighting Child Abuse Prevention Month (April) uses the most recent PPC data about reported cases of child abuse and provides strategies for child abuse prevention and how to report it.  
  • Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) released its FY 2022-24 Child Care Development Fund Draft State Plan. The public can get engages in this plan by submitting comments or by joining a virtual public hearing on Tuesday, May 18th from 11 am to 2:30 pm.
  • New income limits and co-payment schedules for Child Care Works was recently published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and can be found here.
  • Pennsylvania loses one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives based on the 2020 Census apportionment population counts. This is the tenth straight census where the Commonwealth lost one seat in Congress. During the last decade, the state resident population increased by 2.4% to 13,002,700 total persons while the national population increased by 7.4% to 331,449,281 as of April 1, 2020. Pennsylvania is now the 5th most populated state in the nation, but our growth lags behind other states causing the loss of the congressional seat.
  • Our partners at Georgetown Center for Children and Families recently penned a blog on how states can take advantage, thanks to the American Rescue Plan, to boost WIC benefits for moms and kids – something our Pritzker nutrition group has been working with the Department of Health on ensuring.
  • Department Of Human Services, PA Family Support Alliance Highlight Child Abuse Prevention Month, Hotline For Suspected Abuse Reporting And Resources For Pennsylvania Families – press release can be found here.
  • Women for a Healthy Environment recently released a report analyzing Allegheny County’s community water systems. A key finding  is that 80% of the county’s community water systems reported detectable levels of lead in their drinking water. Read an article about the report and calls for action.
  • On Earth Day this year Governor Wolf announced a $117 million investment in 25 water infrastructure projects to address dangerous contaminants such as lead to better protect Pennsylvania children and families.
  • A new article focuses on the challenges within the child welfare system when considering placement outside of the home, focusing on Philadelphia County’s Department of Human Services specifically.

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
200 North Third Street 13th Floor | Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101
(717) 236-5680 | info@papartnerships.org

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