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 www.findchildcare.pa.gov. Providers seeking to apply for Child Care Stabilization Grants can learn more and apply online. For details, read Gov. Wolf’s full press release.