Governor Wolf Orders Statewide Shutdown of Non-Essential Business

Governor Tom Wolf ordered a statewide shutdown of non-essential business to mitigate the spread of COVID 19 in Pennsylvania on Monday, March 16, 2020.  Under the Governor’s announcement, certified child care centers (3270) and group child care homes (3280) operating outside a residence shall cease operations effective midnight March 16, 2020 for a period of 14 days.

The Governor’s order is inclusive of PA Pre-K Counts, HSSAP, Preschool Early Intervention, Private Academic Nursery Schools and locally- funded prekindergarten activities. Prior to the end of the 14-day period, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and other applicable commonwealth agencies will determine if an extension is necessary. Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) will continue to evaluate options and communicate with you as we learn more.

The Department of Human Services recognizes the temporary closure of child care facilities is a burden for all Pennsylvania families who depend on this service. Because it is especially burdensome for essential services personnel such as health care workers, first responders, direct health care staff and long term care facility staff who must have safe and stable care options for their children to report to work, OCDEL has implemented a waiver process for child care facilities serving these families.

Operators seeking a waiver from the commonwealth’s temporary closure order should email OCDEL ( with the subject line should read, “Waiver Request – (insert county name)”.

Staff from OCDEL’s Bureau of Certification Services will respond to requests as quickly as possible.