July 2017

Childcare in the age of social media: What to know about regulations and Craigslist ads
PACCA Executive Director, Diane Barber talks to CBS21 about finding and selecting child care. View the clip HERE.

Conversations with OCDEL Certification Continue
On July 26th, PACCA and other child care advocates met again with members of the OCDEL leadership team and Certification staff to discuss ways to increase communication and transparency between Certification and providers. Customer service surveys currently being used in Colorado, Georgia, and Wisconsin were reviewed.  A Pennsylvania customer service survey was discussed and drafted that would be sent randomly to providers following visits by Certification Representatives. Additionally, the group reviewed a certification compliance checklist, a document that parallels the template used by Certification Representatives during their visits, that would be a tool for programs to assess their readiness and compliance to regulations. The group will review again at its next meeting. PACCA proposed that OCDEL develop a manual outlining the appeal process for citations, issuance of provisional certification, etc. at its next meeting.

June 2017

PACCA Responds to Member Revenue Department Questions: Results in Conversation with OCDEL, Revenue Department & Advocates
In late May, PACCA began receiving calls from members concerned about a “joint venture” between the Office of Child Development & Early Learning (OCDEL) and the Revenue Department resulting in audits of child care providers. There appeared be significant confusion regarding what initiated these actions and if child care providers were being targeted for particular reasons. After reaching out to OCDEL with a series of clarifying questions, a conversation was convened between OCDEL, the Revenue Department and advocates on June 29th.
OCDEL has partnered with the Department of Revenue to ensure tax obligation compliance for Keystone STARS entities and providers since 2008. Although this is not a new process, recent changes from a manual process to an automated and proactive compliance check has increased efficiency and outreach. In the last year, the Revenue Department reviewed information on 2,400 providers participating in Keystone STARS and receiving funding or awards. This review was to ensure that they were compliant with reporting and remitting business taxes. Revenue found nearly 750 were potentially non-compliant. Upon their review, over 220 were found compliant; however over 500 cases are not resolved. The intent of the review is to prevent tax non-compliance issues from becoming tax liens/liabilities. Keystone STARS providers with outstanding liens/liabilities are suspended.
PACCA encourages members with questions about employer tax liabilities, income tax questions, etc. to review the Revenue Department’s guide “Starting A Business in Pennsylvania: A Beginners Guide” (; visit the Revenue Department’s website; and/or consul with a tax professional. 

May 2017

ECE Caucus Briefing on Child Care
April 26, 2017, PACCA Board member John Hogan, Executive Director of Coordinated Child Care Services of Northeast Pennsylvania and PACCA Executive Director, Diane Barber joined colleagues from Early Learning PA, Early Learning Investment Commission, and the Office of Child Development & Early Learning at a briefing for PA's Early Childhood Education Caucus on child care issues.

Photo, from left ... Carey Harris, ELIC; John Hogan, Coordinated Child Care Services of NE PA; Diane Barber; Rep. Mark Longietti, ECE Caucus Co-Chair; Denise Cressman, PA Home-Based Child Care Providers Association; Jodi Askins, PennAEYC; Becky Mercatoris, OCDEL.

OCDEL and Advocates Talk Certification Concerns
OCDEL met with PACCA and other child care advocates on April 18, 2017, to begin an ongoing conversation aimed at supporting solution-based communication and feedback between providers, stakeholders, and Certification staff. The group exchanged strategies for changes to system practices and opportunities for improvement, especially around the uniform and consistent application of certification regulations. While individual situations between providers and Certification were not discussed, the dialogue did explore ways to support better understanding of the laws and regulations, as well as possibilities and limitations for system change. The conversation was facilitated by Laura Johns and Christopher Sleeme, Propulsion Squared, who have been working with OCDEL and stakeholders on PA’s STARS Revisioning efforts.
PACCA Responds to House Budget Cut to Child Care
PACCA asks ... If they're really pro-family, lawmakers should restore this harmful child care cut
In an Op Ed in the 4/5/2017 issue of the Patriot News, Diane P. Barber, Executive Director, PACCA addressed the proposed $28 million budget cut made in HB 218, the House budget proposal for FY 17-18. The House budget would cut existing levels of child care funding. OCDEL projects the waiting list would increase to 25,000 children by the end of September 2017 with the average wait rising to nearly one year. As Barber asks in her Op Ed, "Why is it so hard to convince policymakers and others to invest in child care? High-quality child care is where early learning takes place. We have to overcome this “blind spot” that helping families work and care for their children is somehow feeding into an increased reliance on government." Read more at

February 2017

Support for parents seeking child care | 2/24/2017 |
In an article appearing in the February 24, 2017 edition of the York Dispatch, Diane Barber, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Child Care Association, was quoted: "the availability, or lack thereof, of affordable high-quality child care in the state will have economic consequences now and in the future. Child-care providers allow today's parents to continue working and providing for their families, but high-quality child care can give today's children a better chance in "tomorrow's workforce." "If we want to build our economy, we need workers," Barber said. "We need today's workforce, and we need tomorrow's workforce."