February 15, 2022

Policy Brief: Essential Employees Working Non-Traditional Hours Can’t Find Child Care

Trying Together has released a policy brief highlighting the growing need for high-quality non-traditional hour (NTH) child care in Pennsylvania. The Overview of Non-Traditional Hour Child Care Policy Brief outlines how critical it is to include NTH care in state policy solutions to strengthen our early care and learning infrastructure.


Prior to the pandemic, roughly one in three working families required child care during non-traditional hours, yet only one in four regulated providers offered this service, according to a 2019 Research for Action report.

According to the policy brief, the gap in non-traditional care threatens the economic security of many working families and the overall economy as employers struggle to rehire their workforce.  Prior to the pandemic, the Keystone Command Center for Economic Development and Workforce 2020 annual report noted the lack of accessible non-traditional child care as a barrier for both employees and employers recommending expanding the availability of licensed child care before 6 a.m. and after 6 p.m. (what is normally considered traditional hours) in order to give flexibility and security for working parents.

In October 2021, Governor Tom Wolf’s administration allocated $16.8 million of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) discretionary child care funds for subsidy rate incentives for providers that offer at least two hours of child care during non-traditional hours.

More Information

Trying Together in partnership with the Start Strong PA Campaign are calling on the Pennsylvania General Assembly and Governor Wolf to help further stabilize child care in the Commonwealth, including non-traditional care as part of budget negotiations. Failing to use state funds to help solve the child care crisis would be a missed opportunity that will negatively impact working families, Pennsylvania businesses and the economy.

For details, read the full policy brief. Stay up-to-date on how to advocate for these issues by signing-up to support Trying Together’s public policy agenda.