October 28, 2022

Distribution Events Scheduled to Equip Child Care Providers with Disinfecting Wipes

Early Learning Resource Center Region 5 is working with partners to ensure that licensed child care providers in Allegheny County are fully equipped with disinfecting wipes to maintain a safe, clean, and healthy environment for children and employees.

Learn More

On Thursday, November 3; Friday, November 4; and Wednesday, November 9, child care operators will have the opportunity to pick up several cases of Lysol wipes at distribution sites.

All licensed child care providers in Allegheny County are eligible to receive the cleaning supplies.

Location information:

  • Thursday, November 3 | 12 – 2 p.m.: Mt. Nazareth Child Care Center, 301 Nazareth Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15229

  • Friday, November 4 | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Global Links – 700 Trumbull Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15205

  • Wednesday, November 9 | 1 – 3 p.m.: Rodef Shalom 4905 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

  • Wednesday, November 9 | 6 – 8 p.m.: Global Links – 700 Trumbull Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15205

To ensure that enough supplies are at each distribution location, ELRC Region 5 is asking providers to sign up for the pickup location of choice via the Lysol Pickup Distribution Form. For more information, call 412.515.4988 or email


October 27, 2022

Wayfinder Program for Single Parents Pursuing College Degrees

The Pittsburgh Scholar House is launching the Wayfinders Program, an innovative approach to connecting highly motivated single parents to transformative post-secondary educational opportunities in the region.

About the Wayfinders Program

The Pittsburgh Scholar House is seeking to recruit 20 families into its first Wayfinders cohort slated to begin in January 2023. The curriculum will focus on providing parenting scholars with economic empowerment, two-generational family engagement, early learning outcomes for their children, and standards of academic excellence as they pursue a degree.

Cohort participants are provided with the guidance and support needed to enroll in a two or four-year degree program, finish a degree program in which they are currently enrolled, or receive specialized workforce training for in-demand job skills. The program is available to participants at no cost.

Participants who successfully enroll into a degree program at the end of the six-month engagement period will be supported with potential scholarship opportunities, academic coaching, professional mentorship, transportation and child care access, and other supports designed to cultivate social capital and foster economic mobility through the successful completion of their degree program.


The deadline to apply for the cohort is Friday, November 18, 2022. Details for the program are included in the following links:


Learn About Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Prior to Full Rebid in 2023

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is providing opportunities to participate in informational webinars and regional meetings to learn about the Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts (PA PKC) program prior to the rebid process.

About Pre-K Counts

FY 2022-2023 is the last program year for the current five-year grant cycle of the PA PKC program. In the Spring of 2023, the Pennsylvania Department of Education will announce a full, competitive rebid. During the rebid, all eligible providers interested in receiving a grant must apply.

It is important during the application process that eligible applicants fully understand the program regulations and expectations so that informed decisions can be made regarding whether to apply. Informational webinar sessions will be offered November 2022 through January 2023.

All eligible applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the full series of offered webinars to fully understand the PA PKC program regulations and expectations:

Regional opportunities will occur in February 2023 before the official Request for Applications (RFA) is released.

Eligible Applicants

Pennsylvania is committed to a mixed delivery system. As such, eligible applicants include existing Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grantees and new applicants from these five eligible entity categories:

  • School districts;

  • PDE licensed nursery schools;

  • Head Start grantees;

  • Child care centers and group child care homes designated at Keystone STAR 3 or STAR 4; and

  • A third-party entity applying for Pennsylvania Pre‐K Counts funding to administer the lead agency responsibilities for entities that are eligible to provide the classroom services under the categories listed above.

Eligible applicants must provide assurance that they operate in full compliance with Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Statute, Regulations, and Guidance.


October 26, 2022

October Recalls on Children’s Products

Parents and caregivers should be aware of several child-related product recalls.


Here is a list of October recalls collected from the major federal agencies: the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

More Information

For recall details, visit the links above or review the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration websites.


October 24, 2022

Application Period Open for Work Force Support Grant 2.0

To continue to assist DHS-certified child care providers in addressing the ongoing workforce crisis, the Work Force Support Grant 2.0 is now available.

About Work Force Support Grant 2.0

While the Work Force Support Grant 2.0 is similar to the previous Work Force Support Grant released in May 2022, there are some areas that are significantly different.

Funds through the Work Force Support Grants are being provided to support the work of ongoing staff in centers, as well as assisting providers with staff recruitment.

Applications for the Work Force Support Grant 2.0 are now open and will be accepted through December 6, 2022. Funding is limited. Funds will be made available on a first come-first serve basis to providers who submit complete and accurate applications.


Attached are both the Application in English (PDF) and the Application in Spanish (PDF). Please email your completed application to; drop it off or mail it to 304 Wood Street Commons, Suite 400 Pittsburgh, PA 15222; or fax it to 412.350.3575.

Information, eligibility, and requirements are available on the PA Keys website.


October 20, 2022

Caregivers Sought to Participate in Still Face Experiment

The Alliance for Infants and Toddlers, the Allegheny County Office of Behavioral Health, and the University of Pittsburgh are seeking caregivers of young children to help create a new version of The Still Face Experiment.

About the Still Face Experiment

The Still Face Experiment illustrates the power of emotion coaching and the importance of turning toward a child’s bids for connection.

For the project, caregivers will be asked to play and interact with their child in different ways, then momentarily discontinue play at one point to see how they react when they don’t receive a response.

The play and interactions will be recorded to create informational videos that will help early childhood providers, teachers, and other families understand how important caregiver-child relationships are to child development.

All caregivers and children between six months and two years of age are welcome to participate. Participants should expect to devote up two hours for instruction, filming, etc. and also will receive a $50 gift card and children’s books for their time and participation.


For more information or to express an interest in participating, contact Stacey Trocheck at or Tara Korn at For details, see this flyer.


October 18, 2022

State Child Care Tax Credit to Help Families

The Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Program, a state-level child care tax credit program modeled after the federal child care tax credit program, can be claimed by families when filing state taxes beginning in 2023.

About the Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Program

Modeled after the federal child care tax credit program, this state-level child care tax credit program benefits working families with children in child care who already qualify for the federal program.

Pennsylvanians paying for child care services will be able to claim the credit when filing state taxes starting in 2023. Families could be eligible for:

  • $180 (one child) or $360 (two or more children) for households earning more than $43,000, or

  • $315 (one child) or $630 (two or more children) for households earning less than $43,000.

According to a Department of Human Services news release, it’s estimated that more than 220,000 Pennsylvania families will benefit from this refundable tax credit. The state child care tax credit is for 30% of the federally approved expense.


October 17, 2022

Free Winter Coats for Children

Update added as of 10/24/22: There are no longer winter coats available as supplies have been exhausted. 

The Center for Community Resources, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, is providing free winter coats for children.


Beginning Tuesday, October 18, families can visit the ELRC Region 5 main office and some Allegheny County Family Centers to receive winter coats for their family while supplies last. Participating locations are:

  • ELRC Region 5 | 304 Wood Street, Suite 400, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 | 412.350.3577

  • South Hills Family Center | 41 Macek Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15227 | 412.892.4673, ext. 300

  • Highlands Family Center | 415 East 4th Avenue, Tarentum, PA 15084 | 724.224.9006

  • McKeesport Family Center | 339 5th Avenue, McKeesport, PA 15132 | 412.672.6970

  • Wilkinsburg Family Support Center (Hosanna House) | 807 Wallace Avenue, Suite 205, Wilkinsburg, PA 15221 | 412.871.7948

  • McKees Rocks Family Center (Focus on Renewal) | 420 Chartiers Avenue, McKees Rocks, PA 15136 | 412.331.1685

For details, view this flyer (PDF).


October 13, 2022

SNAP Benefits Increase Beginning October 2022

On October 1, 2022 the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) increased to reflect changes in the cost of living due to inflation to help households better meet their food needs.

Learn More

For several months, food stamps recipients have been experiencing increased financial strain due to the rapid rise in food and grocery prices. Beginning October 1, Pennsylvania increased the income threshold for all applicants to 200% of the Federal Poverty Income. Households can expect an average of 12.5% increase in their benefits.

Household Size/Maximum Gross Monthly Income

  • 1/$2,266

  • 2/$3,052

  • 3/$3,840

  • 4/$4,626

  • 5/$5,412

  • 6/$6,200

  • 7/$6,986

  • 8/$7,772

  • 9/$8,560

  • 10/$9,348

  • Each additional member/+$788


Allegheny County residents who have questions about their SNAP benefits, want to check eligibility, or need help applying, can reach out to Just Harvest for assistance. Call 412-431-8960 (option 3) and leave a name, contact information, and the best time to reach out Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or fill out the form on the Just Harvest website.


October 12, 2022

Ensuring Compliance with Immunization Regulations

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has released an announcement clarifying the role of Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) in ensuring regulation compliance with immunization recommendations.


OCDEL and DOH work together to ensure the health of children who receive care in a child care setting.

When conducting a renewal inspection, OCDEL’s Bureau of Certification Services (BCS) is responsible for reviewing a random sample of the children’s files, which include the health records. The certification representative will review the immunization documents and compare against the schedule recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to determine if the health record is up to date or on a makeup schedule. If a child is missing an immunization(s), the certification representative will discuss this with the provider, issue a citation, and request a plan of correction.

Department of Health (DOH) is also responsible for ensuring that children in child care group settings have the recommended immunizations as per ACIP. Current DOH procedure is to have representatives of DOH contact a random selection of Department of Human Services (DHS) certified child care providers to conduct an annual review of immunization records.

Due to confusion in completing and submitting the documents in the past – and specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic – by DHS certified child care providers, the on-site visit from DOH will support providers in meeting the requirements outlined in 28 Pa. Code Chapter §27.77(a)(4).

For full details, read the Announcement C-22-07 Role of Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Human Services (DHS) in Ensuring Compliance with Immunization Regulations.