For Pennsylvanians who are still going to work, the state Department of Services has a new web page to help them locate child-care providers that are still open.
The state Department of Human Services on Friday unveiled the tool, which allows people to find day-care centers that still operate in their area. So far, more than 700 waivers have been approved for providers who still serve the families of workers considered “essential personnel.” Otherwise, the day cares are subject to a statewide closure in effect for most businesses in the state.
“Child-care programs operating with a waiver are serving employees of life-sustaining businesses,” DHS Secretary Teresa Miller told reporters. “Our health providers on the front line, emergency and first responders, home-care workers serving vulnerable populations, grocery and food service employees and public sector or social-service employees may still play a critical role outside the home during this crisis.”
The site allows users to search for their hometown or zip code and specify a radius in the surrounding area. There are more than 50 such businesses still operating within 25 miles of the Washington postal area, according to the site.
“We’re also urging essential-services personnel to consider their options if their child-care provider chooses to close, even if they’re operating with a waiver,” Miller said. “If families are able to make alternative child-care arrangements at home, we’re encouraging them to allow vacancies to be used for those who do not have other options, and begin to make an actionable contingency plan if their child care arrangement has to change.”
The search tool can be found at https://www.dhs.pa.gov/providers/Providers/Pages/Coronavirus-Child-Care.aspx/.