Report | November 19, 2021

Home-Based Child Care: A Key to Keeping the Pennsylvania Workforce and Economy Strong

Policy solutions must support the mixed-delivery child care system, including family child care

Home-based child care (HBCC) is a critical part of Pennsylvania’s child care system that supports working families and our overall economy. HBCC is particularly important for infants and toddlers, children from families with low incomes, and those living in rural areas. Parents choose HBCC for various reasons, including availability, affordability, trust, and flexibility to accommodate nontraditional work schedules. Paid HBCC generates $167 million in revenue in Pennsylvania annually, as well as spillover economic activity in other sectors.

However, HBCC also faces several challenges, and the number of family child care homes has dropped 32 percent in recent years in Pennsylvania, contributing to the overall shortage of child care, particularly for infants and toddlers. The pandemic has posed an additional, significant threat to HBCC and the entire child care industry.

Given HBCC’s vital role in supporting our state’s workforce and economy, it is critical that Pennsylvania policymakers develop and enhance supports for home-based child care.

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