PITTSBURGH — Mayor Bill Peduto announced a $2 million fund to upgrade child care facilities.
The City of Pittsburgh Childcare Quality Fund will be introduced to Pittsburgh City Council on Feb. 19. Earning higher designations from the state is the target of the plan that will unveil grants to upgrade and improve child care facilities.
According to a statement from city officials, only 19 percent of Pittsburgh child care facilities are rated the high quality designation of STAR 3 or STAR 4 on Pennsylvania’s Quality Rating and improvement System Keystone STARS.
“I am committed to ensuring that all children in the City of Pittsburgh have access to high-quality early learning and Pre-K. This grant fund will provide child care facilities with the means to improve their programs and will build the number of quality seats that we have in the City,” Mayor Peduto said. “This is a big step toward my goal of offering universal Pre-K.”
City officials say the upgraded facilities will provide a stimulating, safe and nurturing environment for children. In addition to the funding from city council, higher-quality facilities can also tap into additional funding streams, according to city officials.
Funding for the project will be administered by The Alliance for Infants and Toddlers.
Upgrades and improvements included in the project are:
Fire suppression systems/sprinklers
Playground equipment installation
Fencing and installation
Security cameras and systems
Retrofitting areas of facility to open new classrooms
The fund will also support programmatic upgrades including:
Curriculum and related materials
Child Assessment instrument costs
Professional Development for staff
Fine and gross motor materials
Dramatic play materials
Child sized furniture
Child safety materials
Mobile handwashing sinks
Mentor program costs
Officials say that Allegheny County’s ELRC will launch on July 1.