Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today announced a partnership between the department’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and Penn State Harrisburg’s Institute of State and Regional Affairs (ISRA) to study the impacts of COVID-19 on child care providers across Pennsylvania.
“COVID-19 has disrupted daily life in Pennsylvania and around the world, and while these mitigation efforts will save lives, we must also prepare for a long-term recovery period,” said Miller. “Child care providers are critical to allowing parents go to work knowing their children are safe. Without their service, we cannot have a fully functional economy, and we are committed to helping them weather this tumultuous period.”
OCDEL will work with a team of research specialists at ISRA to identify the specific operational and financial challenges that child care providers must overcome to stay open after statewide business and stay-at-home orders are lifted. The research team will survey a statewide representative sample of 1,000 randomly selected licensed child care providers and conduct interviews with program directors and staff. Researchers will also gather information about the extent to which the interruption of services will impact demand for child care moving forward and what resources and supports are needed to help child care providers navigate the period and provide high-quality child care to Pennsylvania families.