The Office of Child Development and Early Learning announced that Department of Human Services (DHS) certified child care centers may apply for funding to purchase technology items such as laptops, wireless routers, tablets, and more to expand centers’ technological capacity and enrich the educational experience providers offer to young children and families.
“Many child care centers in Pennsylvania lack access to reliable and efficient internet access. This makes it harder to run their businesses, and it means that the children in these centers do not have access to the same resources and skills as those who have better internet access,” said DHS Acting Secretary Meg Snead. “By providing this funding opportunity, we hope to get technology in the hands of people who need it and to set these children and businesses up for greater success and enhanced educational capacity.”
The Child Care Technology Access Awards are one-time grants available through federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act (CRRSA) funding. The award amount ranges from $2,500 to $5,500 and is based on the eligible DHS certified child care program’s provider type and licensed capacity. This funding opportunity will be awarded in the form of a voucher eligible recipients will use to order approved materials from the Kaplan Learning Company.
All eligible DHS certified child care providers, regardless of Keystone STAR Level, who are in need of technology tools can apply for this one-time award. To be eligible, a DHS certified child care programs must meet the following requirements at the time an application is submitted and at time of final approval:
- DHS certified child care program must be open and available to provide child care or temporarily closed no more than 14 consecutive business days due to COVID-19 exposure as outlined in ELRC Announcement 21- #09;
- DHS certified child care program must be in good standing with the Bureau of Certification Services and have a regular or provisional Certificate of Compliance (CoC);
- DHS certified child care program’s Certificate of Compliance is not in a Revocation or Refuse to Renew status with the Bureau of Certification Services; and,
- DHS certified child care program must not be, at the time of application, under investigation by the Office of State Inspector General (OSIG) for fraud or previously convicted of fraud.
DHS certified child care programs who wish to apply for the Child Care Technology Access Award will be required to designate an authorized representative to complete and electronically sign an online Attestation Form.
Kaplan Learning Center began sending emails to eligible DHS certified child care programs on April 20, 2022. DHS certified child care programs who believe they are eligible but have not received an email from [email protected], should first check their spam/junk email inboxes to make sure the email did not get sent there. If upon checking those inboxes, the email from Kaplan has not been received, programs should contact Kaplan at 1-800-334-2014. To inquire about eligibility status, email OCDEL at [email protected].