Upper Main Line YMCA hosts Governor Josh Shapiro, Legislative Leaders and the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry to Celebrate the Expansion of Tax Credits for Families

President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine, Bertram L. Lawson II, welcomes members of the press and other distinguished guests, including (back row L to R) Governor Josh Shapiro, House Leader Matt Bradford, Senator Carolyn Comitta, Representative Melissa Shusterman and Laura Manion, President and CEO of Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry, who led a coalition to expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for working families in PA.

BERWYN, PA – On Friday, January 5, Governor Josh Shapiro joined legislative leaders and the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry to highlight the recent expansion of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for over 210,000 Pennsylvania families at the Upper Main Line YMCA in Chester County.

In 2023, the average cost of childcare in Pennsylvania was between $9,000 - $13,000 per child. This equates to more than 15 percent of a median family’s annual income, for childcare alone. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Pennsylvania’s economy loses $3.47 billion dollars every year in lost earnings, productivity, and tax revenue because families can’t access reliable, consistent childcare.

A Leading Provider of Childcare
The backdrop of the YMCA makes sense. The YMCA is the largest provider of childcare services in the state with more than 65,000 enrolled in programming. In Chester County, the YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW)– an association of nine locations including the Upper Main Line YMCA – provides childcare services to more than 4,500 children and their families through early learning centers, summer camp and before and after enrichment programming.

Families need support more than ever. The YMCA awards upwards of $2MM each year in financial assistance for programs like childcare, summer camp, before and after school enrichment and critical health and wellness programs. In 2023 YGBW allocated 38% more financial aid for childcare programming as compared to 2022. YGBW's Financial Assistance program is fueled by donors and sponsors who recognize a need in the community.

Childcare centers are also in need of support. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 2,000 childcare centers across the Commonwealth have closed permanently. Expenses related to operating childcare centers continue to rise and staffing remains a critical issue.

A Leading Employer
In addition to being a leading provider of childcare services, YGBW is a large employer in the county employing 1,800 staff in total and contributing more than $28MM back into the Chester County economy.

“The childcare crisis impacts our staff, the families that we serve and the community at large. The expansion of the state Childcare Tax Credit will allow more parents to return to work – and will allow childcare providers to grow and remain sustainable,” comments Bertram L. Lawson, II, President and CEO of YGBW.

Hopeful for the Future
As a nonprofit organization serving a large percentage of the county, the YMCA is dedicated to strengthening the Chester County community. Partnerships with legislators, community leaders, business and individuals help to ensure a brighter future for all.

“This expansion is an investment in working families, in our economy and in the future of our Commonwealth. I thank Governor Shapiro and all of the advocates who worked to make it a reality,” said Senator Carolyn Comitta. “I hope we can continue to work together to support access to affordable, quality childcare and invest in childcare providers, workers and programs. They are a crucial part of the infrastructure that prepares our communities for tomorrow and keeps our economy growing.”

“As a working mother who relied on the YMCA’s early childhood education centers, I am grateful that the Child and Dependent Tax Credit bill, which Rep. Davis and I proposed, became part of the fiscal code,” said Representative Melissa Shusterman. “This tax credit means real money for working parents and that can be a game-changer.”

Individuals interested in learning more about the tax credit and how it will impact their families are encouraged to visit pa.gov/childcaretaxcredit.

Category: Press