More than 123,000 children in Pennsylvania benefit from the Child Care Works effort. The program allows for working parents in a household of four, with an income of $47,000 or less, to pay $89 in child care and the rest will be covered.
Many parents wrestle with the dilemma of paying for child care versus not working and keeping their children at home.
The average annual cost for infant child care in the Commonwealth is $10,319, which is almost as much as the average yearly tuition for an in-state public four-year college, at $12,330.
Pennsylvania has some of the toughest child care regulations in the country that includes a tight staff to student ratio. Child care providers must hire more staff to meet the requirements and that adds to operation expenses that are passed on to parents.
The waiting list for Child Care Works on average is 5,000 children, but it has been as high as 16,000. According to the Pennsylvania Child Care Association, the average wait on the list was 71 days.