April 21, 2022

Technology Access Award for Child Care Providers

Department of Human Services (DHS) certified child care centers can now apply for funding to purchase technology items such as laptops, wireless routers, tablets, and more to expand centers’ technological capacity and enrich the educational experience providers offer to young children and families.

About the Child Care Technology Access Awards

The Child Care Technology Access Awards are one-time grants available through federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act (CRRSA) funding. The award amount ranges from $2,500 to $5,500 and is based on the eligible DHS certified child care program’s provider type and licensed capacity. This funding opportunity will be awarded in the form of a voucher eligible recipients will use to order approved materials from the Kaplan Learning Company.

The following is a list of technology tools that eligible DHS certified child care programs can order through the award:

  • Accounting software
  • Headsets and Headphones
  • Laptop Computers
  • Office software
  • Portable Scanners
  • Printer/Scanners
  • Smaller items including printer ink and batteries
  • Tablets
  • Walkie-talkies
  • Web Cams
  • Wi-fi Access Point
  • Wi-fi Extenders
  • Wireless Routers


All eligible DHS certified child care providers, regardless of Keystone STAR Level, can apply. To be eligible, programs must meet the following requirements at the time of application submission and final approval:

  • be open and available to provide child care or temporarily closed no more than 14 consecutive business days due to COVID-19 exposure;
  • be in good standing with the Bureau of Certification Services and have a regular or provisional Certificate of Compliance (CoC);
  • have a Certificate of Compliance that is not in a Revocation or Refuse to Renew status with the Bureau of Certification Services; and,
  • not be under investigation by the Office of State Inspector General (OSIG) for fraud or previously convicted of fraud.


DHS certified child care programs who want to apply will be required to designate an authorized representative to complete and electronically sign an online Attestation Form.

Kaplan Learning Center began sending emails to eligible DHS certified child care programs on April 20, 2022. DHS certified child care programs who believe they are eligible but have not received an email from, should first check their spam/junk email inboxes to make sure the email did not get sent there. Programs that didn’t receive an email should contact Kaplan at 1-800-334-2014. To inquire about eligibility status, email OCDEL at

More Information

For additional information about the Award, please see the Announcement ELRC 22-02 Child Care Technology Access Award.


March 28, 2022

ARPA Stabilization Grant Spending Report Available

Child care providers who applied for and received an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Stabilization Grant are required to report on the use of funds and child care capacity as a condition of receiving funds. Any grant recipient that wishes to begin reporting can access the Spending Report and begin to enter their spending amounts.


Grant reporting will be completed in the Professional Development (PD) Registry. Directors, owners, administrators and/or designated fiscal staff members can now access the reporting tool for their program under the Keystone STARS/Grants tab in their organization’s profile.

Recipients will be able to log in and out of the Spending Report to update their spending amounts, but they will not be able to finalize and submit their Spending Report until eight months after the Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) submitted their grant for payment.

Providers are encouraged to preview the Spending Report to prepare for the simplified reporting requirements.

Use this step-by-step tip sheet on how to access and complete the Spending Report. Grant recipients should contact to problem solve issues with accessing their Spending Report.


December 29, 2021

CCW Enhancements to Lower Family Copays and Increase Provider Base Rates

On October 18, 2021, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced changes to Child Care Works (CCW), Pennsylvania’s subsidized child care program, that will decrease costs to families who qualify for subsidized care and add incentives for child care providers to participate in the program.

This article was updated on December 29, 2021, to reflect a new effective date for copays.

CCW Enhancements

Pennsylvania received more than $1 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support the commonwealth’s child care industry, child care providers, and the children and families that rely on this system. $352 million in Child Care Development Fund federal ARPA funding will also support:

  • Lower maximum copayments for families eligible for CCW, effective January 17, 2022: $121.9 million will be used to reduce the maximum family copayment for families participating in subsidized child care through CCW. Current copayments range from 3-11% of a family’s overall income. This change will lower the copayment to 3-7%, in line with federal recommendations for family obligations for subsidized child care. No family will see an increased copay through the adjustment, and providers will still receive the difference as a part of the CCW base rate.

  • Increased base rates for providers participating in CCW, effective January 1, 2022: $213.7 million will support increasing base rates paid to subsidized child care to the 60th percentile compared to the private pay market rate. This change brings Pennsylvania closer to the federally-recommended 75th percentile. Nearly two-thirds of children whose families are eligible for CCW are enrolled in a STAR 1 or 2 rated facility. By investing in base rates to providers participating in CCW, Pennsylvania is investing in quality across the child care industry for the children and families served by this program. In March 2021, the Wolf Administration raised base rates from the 25th percentile to the 40th percentile.

  • Rate incentives for providers that offer child care during non-traditional hours, effective January 1, 2022: $16.8 million will support add-on incentives to CCW base rates for child care providers that offer at least two hours of care during non-traditional hours.

Prior to the pandemic, the Keystone Command Center for Economic Development and Workforce recommended expanding availability of licensed child care before 6 a.m. and after 6 p.m. – what is normally considered “traditional” child care hours – in order to give flexibility and security for working parents. These rate incentives will support providers that offer care outside of traditional hours, giving parents a safe place for their children and the security necessary to help parents return to work.

More Information

For more information on child care providers operating in Pennsylvania, visit Providers seeking to apply for Child Care Stabilization Grants can learn more and apply online.

For details, read Gov. Wolf’s full press release.