DUNMORE, Pennsylvania (WNEP) — Child care workers are considered essential and have been working throughout the pandemic. They say it has been hard, working to care for kids, keeping them safe and healthy, and keeping those child care facilities sanitized.
“Very crazy, unconventional, kind of taking everything day by day because you never know what’s going to happen from one day to the next, if children become positive, it affects the whole center,” said Jill Simons of Sisters Early Learning Center in Frackville.
State leaders say there is about $20 million available for child care worker grants right now. It could help more than 30,000 workers statewide.
The money comes, in part, from a federal program that subsidizes child care costs.
“I think it makes the child care workers feel like they are seen, and we are grateful for that, but the bad part about that is the money comes from the ERA grants. I just wish it would have come from a different source because I kind of feel like it’s robbing Peter to pay Paul. A lot of child care centers worked really hard for more than $600, and now they’re dispersing it to every child care center,” said Katie Robinson of Blessings Christian Daycare in Rome.
Child care workers said they appreciate the grants, but they could use more help, especially since there is no telling how much longer the pandemic will last.
“We’re having a hard time even getting supplies. Everything is sold out. I think they would help us in that aspect; it would help everybody,” said Holly Bindie of Sisters Early Learning Center in Frackville.
“We don’t know from one week to another if we have to close down,” said Simons.
In his 2021/2022 budget plan outlined earlier this week, Gov. Wolf called for millions more in funding for child care throughout the state.
The deadline to apply for the child care worker grants is February 12.
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