09 March 2023- Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh today announced the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) will make two carbon monoxide detectors available to certified child care providers in Pennsylvania at no cost to the providers. The free detectors are being made available following a carbon monoxide leak that affected a Pennsylvania child care facility in the fall of 2022.
“Because carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas, without detectors it is not possible to detect a leak before people start to feel sick,” said Arkoosh. “As the state works to update regulations to require this important safety mechanism be in place at our child care centers, this opportunity will help providers increase protections at their facility right away. I urge all providers to take advantage of this opportunity to get new carbon monoxide detectors to safeguard their staff and children in care.”
The announcement to further protect our children and their dedicated providers comes just days after Governor Shapiro unveiled his Inaugural Budget, which includes a proposed increase of $66.7 million for childcare services to help ensure that thousands of low-income Pennsylvania families will continue to have access to affordable, high-quality childcare.
Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that kills hundreds of people in the United States every year. OCDEL is partnering with School Health to purchase and distribute the carbon monoxide detectors using federal child care funding available to the office. These no-cost carbon monoxide detectors are available as an extremely helpful safety resource for providers who may not already have them or who need new detectors. Currently, the ordering and placement of detectors is not a regulatory requirement set by OCDEL.
All certified child care providers have been sent a promotional code that will allow them to purchase one or two detectors from School Health, which are being made available through federal funding. The opportunity to order detectors will end on April 30, 2023.
For more information on child care in Pennsylvania, visit www.findchildcare.pa.gov.