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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 11, 2017 05:11 PM
From: Representative Scott A. Petri
To: All House members
Subject: Eliminating the Middleman in Pennsylvania’s Subsidized Child Care Program
I soon will be introducing legislation to require the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) to administer the subsidized child care program itself and prohibit the Department from contracting with other governmental or non-governmental entities to manage or administer the program, effective in the 2017-18 fiscal year and thereafter.

Currently, and for the past few decades, the Department has contracted administration of Pennsylvania’s subsidized child care program for low-income working families, known as Child Care Works, to private entities called Child Care Information Services (CCISs). CCISs are grantees, the parent agencies for which may be county governments, non-profit organizations and/or community-based organizations. Through the CCIS grant, all of these entities determine applicant eligibility and also serve as the local child care resource and referral agency.

In recently reviewing every one of the Department’s current contracts with CCIS grantees, my preliminary cost-benefit analysis indicates that the program could be administered more cost-efficiently if the Department administered the program in-house. My calculations indicate that the processing cost per application is cost-prohibitive, with costs reaching as much as $400 to $1,000 per application. In addition, CEOs of the CCIS entities often times earn six-figure salaries.

I am sponsoring this legislation in the spirit of the twin objectives of delivering state government services more efficiently and saving taxpayer dollars in the process. Our Majority Leader recently has gone on record in citing the subsidized child care program as a prime example of how changes in program administration could potentially save money without sacrificing services.

I also believe having the DHS administer the program would cut down on waste and fraud within the subsidized child care program.

I hope you will strongly consider signing on as a cosponsor of this legislation.

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