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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 23, 2017 12:38 PM
From: Representative Jason Ortitay
To: All House members
Subject: Update Child Care Language in the PA Code
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation to update the PA Code, Title 55, Part V to remove the word “day care” from any terms referring to the location where children receive care or the professionals who provide that care. The term should be replaced with “child care” to reflect the reality of what occurs at these sites and the critically important work of early childhood professionals.

Brain science tells us that during the first five years of a child’s life, the most rapid periods of brain development occur. Within even the first two years, attachments and interactions with adult caregivers help to determine the future structure of the brain. Positive development is driven by strong and trusting relationships between children and the adults who care for and educate young children during this time.

Times have changed, and the language we use matters. Child care is not day care. Despite the increasing number of children in quality care and education programs, policymakers, parents, and even some segments of the profession still view the industry as an unfortunate but necessary outgrowth of today’s economy. This view perpetuates beliefs about child development that are incongruous with what brain science is telling us.

Today 68% of Pennsylvania children under the age of six have all adults in the household in the workforce, requiring these young children to spend at least part of their week in care outside of their home. Fortunately, increasingly educated early childhood professionals understand the importance of the brain development that occurs during this period, providing both care and learning for young children. As our understanding of brain development has advanced, it is critical that we recognize that for developing children, child care and education cannot be separated.

I encourage you join me in cosponsoring this important legislation to update language in the PA Code to reflect the importance of the critical work performed by Pennsylvania’s child care professionals.

Introduced as HB1677