2018-19 OCDEL Budget Overview

OCDEL Budget Overview

Listen to the June 29, 2018 call with OCDEL Deputy Secretary, Suzann Morris.

Click here to view the 2017-18 and 2018-19 comparison. 

On Friday, June 22, 2018, Governor Wolf signed the 2018-19 budget into law.

The 2018-19 budget continues to build on the governor’s commitment to high-quality early learning services. Thank you to all who raised their voice, you made an impact. The 2018-19 budget continues to build on the governor’s commitment to high-quality early learning services. The 2018-19 budget includes more than $1 billion in state and more than $800 million in federal support for OCDEL programs.

Also, this year, OCDEL, via the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit, received funding from the Heinz Endowments to support a Shared Services Project. Shared Services is a management framework that helps center- and home-based early childhood education providers build shared organizational capacity, improve teaching and learning, deepen community engagement and promote long-term sustainability. Selected applicants are the grant are:

  • Midwestern IU 4
  • The Learning Lamp
  • Trying Together
  • Northwest Institute of Research

Participants will share staff, skills, funds and costs across a network of centers/family child care homes to improve the long-term capacity to provide high quality childcare.

Community-Based Family Centers and Nurse Family Partnership

In 2018-19, more than 15,000 children will receive evidence-based home visiting services through Community-Based Family Centers and Nurse-Family Partnership. This total does not include children served in family centers with PAT that is not funded through MIECHV.

  • Community-Based Family Centers (increase of $5.5 million, total appropriation $13.6 million)
    • $4 million to support targeted expansion of evidence-based Home Visiting in areas hit hardest by the opioid epidemic with a focus on families with a parent with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).
    • $500,000 for necessary cross systems training on recognizing signs of Substance Use Disorder (SUD), making referrals for treatment, working with families in recovery, as well as cross systems training focusing on the coordination of supports related to housing, evidence based home visiting, Children and Youth services, and Early Intervention (EI) services for families struggling with SUD and children impacted by prenatal exposure.
    • $800,000 to help address the challenge of recruiting and retaining highly qualified staff at community-based family centers
    • $235,000 for continued support of the Parent Child Home program
  • Nurse Family Partnership (increase of $1.2 million, total appropriation of $13.178 million)
    • $1.2 million to help address the challenge of recruiting and retaining highly qualified staff for our NFP service providers
  • Federal Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV)
    • In March 2018, MIECHV was reauthorized at the federal level until 2022 at $400 million annually.
    • OCDEL applies for a MIECHV grant every year.
    • These grants from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration are two-year grants, so OCDEL always have two active grants – one in the first year and the other in the second year.
    • This year, OCDEL applying for the maximum amount being made available to Pennsylvania – $12,282,659. $200,000 must be used for an update to a statewide needs assessment.
    • The remaining $12,082,659 will be used for OCDEL’s operating costs (two grant funded positions and travel) and the bulk will be used for our regular contracts with Local Implementing Agencies (LIAs).

 Early Intervention Birth-3 (total appropriation of $142.8 million)

  • The final 2018-19 budget includes $7.6 million in supplemental funding for 2017-18 to provide for one-time expenditures, and $6.3 million in new funding for 2018-19 (an increase to the initial 2017-18 budget prior to the supplemental) to serve 39,930 infants and toddlers.

Child Care Works

  • As of June 29, 2018, the Child Care Works waiting list for low-income families is nearly 10,000 children.
  • Child Care Services (increase of $6.8 million, total appropriation of $162.5 million) to support low income families and serve an additional 1,100 children from the waiting list.
  • Child Care Assistance (level-funded, total appropriation of $139.9 million) to support families receiving TANF, Former TANF and SNAP benefits.
  • Federal support increased significantly as Pennsylvania was awarded $66.5 million with the passage of the federal Omnibus.  All Omnibus funds must be committed by September 30, 2019.
  • 2018-19 plans for the Omnibus include:
    • $39 million to increase base rates for all levels of care.
      • Approximately, $19 million is needed to lift the freeze on MCCA rates for STAR 1 and 2 providers.
      • The remaining $20 million will provide an increase to base rates – estimated 2%.
      • Increases will be effective August 1, 2018.
      • The reimbursement gap between subsidy rates and the cost of delivering high-quality child care continues to grow. In June 2017, Research for Action delivered a Heinz Endowment funded white paper Child Care Funding & Finance in Pennsylvania: Budgeting for Survival or Paying for the True Cost of High-Quality? Research for Action analyzed OCDEL data on child care program funding streams and income, such as subsidy rates and Pre-K Counts, as well as cost drivers like hiring and retaining qualified staff. This information was used to build case studies of actual child care programs across the commonwealth. The results of this study inform OCDEL’s continued work to address subsidy rates and provide a data-driven picture of the day-to-day challenges high-quality providers experience when layering and braiding federal and state funds to support their programming.
      • OCDEL will use the 2017 Research for Action report to build on and analyze a more complete picture of the cost of quality child care in FY 2018-19.
  • $5 million to support high quality professional development for child care
  • $2 million to pilot contracting for slots for infants and toddlers participating in CCW.
    • OCDEL proposes leveraging Pennsylvania’s Pre-K Counts model to pilot contracting with STAR 3 and STAR 4 programs to serve infants and toddlers in high-quality settings.
    • This one-year pilot will improve access to and continued enrollment in high-quality early care and education programs for children 0-36 months.
    • This proposed model is supported by the results of Pennsylvania’s Infant/Toddler policy scan (a tool developed by Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Child Care)
  • $4 million to comply with federal Child Care and Development Block Grant requirements on background checks.
  • OCDEL anticipates releasing proposed child care certification and subsidy regulations later in 2018 to further implement Child Care and Development Block Grant requirements and better align services.
    • The proposed child care subsidy regulations will recommend several provisions that support the stability of access to child care for families and provide more predictable funding for participating child care providers, such as:
      • Raising the number of paid absence days in the child care subsidy program from 25 to 40 absences per fiscal year, conforming to payment rules for Pre-K Counts and aligning with federal recommendations.
      • Allowing children to remain eligible until the end of the 12-month eligibility period when a child’s primary caretaker changes for reasons including, but not limited to, parental military deployment, death, serious illness, incarceration, or entrance into a treatment program.
      • Extending subsidized child care for one additional year for a child before entering Kindergarten if the parent/caretaker believes the child is not yet ready.
      • Continuing to pay child care for a child who turns 13 years of age through the end of the twelve-month eligibility period.
      • Affording families experiencing homelessness 92 days of presumptive eligibility during which they can receive child care while searching for employment
    • Through integrated responsibility for managing both Child Care Works and Keystone STARS, the Early Learning Resource Centers will be in a unique position to help move these policies forward.

Department of Education

Pre-K Expansion

  • The final 2018-19 budget includes a $25 million investment in early childhood education
    • PA Pre-K Counts (increase of $20 million; total appropriation of $192.3 million) to convert 430 half-day slots to full-day slots, and to provide 2,125 new full-day slots. FY 17-18 was a full re-competition for Pre-K Counts. OCDEL received applications for slots totaling $255 million in the competitive RFA.
    • Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program (increase of $5 million, total appropriation of $59.2 million) to serve an additional 490 children.

Since Governor Wolf took office, $115 million has been invested in PKC and HSSAP. 

In 2018-19, approximately 27,400 children will be served in PKC and HSSAP.

Preschool Early Intervention, 3-5 (increase of $21.7 million, total appropriation of $285.5 million)

  • Increased funding to support increased costs of serving those in the existing program and to serve approximately 1,100 additional children, 56,800 total
  • The program continues to experience growth in the number of children served and increases in intensity of services provided to serve children with diagnosis such as autism
  • Preschool EI programs, statewide, have been actively engaged in collection and reporting of cost and service utilization data. This data will be used to create a rate based funding formula used to allocate funds and for predictive modeling to identify future funding needs.  The steering team is now able to begin the creation of allocation models and will be able to apply those models in conjunction with the current funding model for 2018-19 and 2019-20.  Continued cost and service data collection is the essence to the success to transition into a newly developed model with the anticipation of full implementation in 2020-21.

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