including a legislative update, upcoming events, and more!

Legislative Update


CCCBI President and CEO, Laura Manion, Speaks at the House Children & Youth Committee Informational Meeting 


On Wednesday, March 29th, Laura Manion travelled to the state capitol to present her testimony at the House Children & Youth Committee Informational Meeting on the Challenges with Childcare in Pennsylvania. Majority Chair Donna Bullock and Minority Chair Barry Jozwiak opened the floor to discuss the importance of childcare as both an industry itself and as an economic power driving the decline of active workforce.


Three childcare providers Leslie Spina, Executive Director of Kinder Academy in Philadelphia, Diane Barber, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Child Care Association, and Jen Byrne, Owner of Spring Rose Childcare in Berks County all shared their personal experiences as providers and administrators in their respective businesses. They emphasized the need for childcare providers throughout the state and the challenges that face any individual in the profession, including low wages, insurance barriers, and education restrictions that are currently making it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain qualified employees. A call for additional funding was also made to aid in maintaining facilities, paying staff a livable wage and offering training and development programs, and implementing regulations to secure access to educational and legal resources to operate under optimal conditions.    


Shante Brown, Deputy Secretary OCDEL, Department of Human Services, was joined by Kimberly Early, Senior Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, Pennsylvania Association for the education of Young Children, to discuss the importance of childcare as a whole. Brown stressed the importance of programs like Child Care Works, Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program, and Pre-K Counts. Programs like these aim to assist families with high child care fees to provide high quality child care for all, especially low income households. Early discussed the shocking results a 2023 survey that concluded that 84% of child care respondents are experiencing staffing shortages which has caused 50% to close at least one classroom which leaves approximately 35,00 children on childcare waiting lists throughout 54 counties across the state. Additional funding was found to be essential for the sustainability of the childcare system, and the economy that it is greatly affecting.


Laura Manion was joined by Angela Ferritto, President of the Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, and Alex Halper, Vice President of Government Affairs of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry to emphasize the impact childcare has on both the workforce and the economy. The growing issue came to a head during the Covid-19 pandemic when over 16,000 childcare facilities were forced to shut down or operate at a severely restricted capacity. This forced parents, an overwhelmingly mothers, to leave their jobs to care for their children in the absence of reliable or affordable childcare. This blow to the workforce has still not fully recovered and it has exacerbated the current economic climate. Manion cited that 60% of all parents attribute lack of childcare as the primary reason for leaving the workforce. Halper added that absences and employee turnover due to child care challenges costs PA employers $2.88 billion annually and $3.47 billion to PA’s economy annually.


The Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry recognizes the importance of the childcare crisis that is affecting families, workers, and businesses across the country. The Childcare industry is regulated at both the federal and state levels; here in PA, we are recommending that the State Legislature and administration consider the following four policies to aid in the accessibility of affordable childcare.


Firstly, an Employee Child Care Public Partnership to incentivize employers to fund childcare for their employees by splitting the cost with the state and providing tax credit incentives to employers who participate. Second, a Childcare Tax Credit for Parents through the Expanding the Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Program to allow middle-income parents to return to the workforce. Third, retention and recruitment must be addressed by expanding rebates and incentives offered through the Head Start Supplemental Program to include the childcare community. Last, the Chamber is advocating for favorable regulatory changes considered by the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to include input and guidance from active childcare providers without increasing costs for providers.


"This is an economic issue as much as it is a societal issue. We, the private sector, government officials, ans experts in the childcare field, must come together to address this crisis. This is a commitment to future generations that will lay the foundation for a more prosperous economy." -Laura Manion, CCCBI President and CEO



Member Spotlight


Disc Hounds

DISC HOUNDS is the complete source for Media Transfers, Duplication, and Printing. Spring cleaning is coming up, but that doesn't mean precious memories should be thrown out just because of old technology!


Bring in your tapes, discs, and photo albums to digitize and preserve your videos and photos. Disc Hounds aims to ensure that the important moments of the past are accessible for generations to come. 


Whether you are printing old photos or new ones, Disc Hounds is also the Chamber's destination for all things printed! From business cards and post cards, to posters and banners, your printing needs are easy to fulfill. 



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