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10/22/2021 10:33 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=36126
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: August 27, 2021 03:13 PM
From: Representative Liz Hanbidge
To: All House members
Subject: Following CDC Masking Guidelines in Child Care Facilities
 
The shortage of affordable, accessible, and available child care existed before the pandemic and was a significant barrier for workers seeking opportunities; that shortage is now exacerbated because of the pandemic, and has proven to be an even greater barrier to employment. 
 
Barriers to child care access are holding workers back, especially women who have been forced out of the labor market in disproportionately high numbers due to family care needs.
 
In line with the Commonwealth's goal to keep schools open for our K-12 students, we similarly need child care facilities to remain open so parents and caregivers can return to work with peace of mind that their youngest are being cared for in safe environments. Child care facilities remaining safe and open is critical to getting our workforce and economy back on track and paramount to family stability.
 
That is why I will soon introduce legislation to require universal indoor masking in early childhood education and child care programs (ECE) within classrooms for those over the age of 2 unless a child’s doctor determines that a child has a disability or medical condition that would require an exemption, regardless of vaccination status. Masking is the easiest way to prevent transmission of COVID-19, and the aggressive Delta variant. 
 
All of our lives and livelihoods are interconnected.  Keeping our youngest and most vulnerable children safe in schools and while in child care facilities is a measure we can all commit to, and we should be doing everything in our collective power to keep all children healthy and safe.