November 17, 2020

Provide Your Feedback: Subsidized Child Care Eligibility

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) are accepting public comments through December 14, 2020 for proposed changes to the current subsidized child care eligibility regulations.


Proposed changes to the subsidized child care eligibility regulations at 55 Pa. Code Chapter 3041 might impact families, children, and early childhood education providers. The proposed changes include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • expanded eligibility period of 12 months;
    • expanded eligibility to cover hours the parent or caretaker requires sleep following completion of overnight work shift;
    • no changes to the amounts of subsidy and co-payment for the duration of the eligibility period, unless to the family’s benefit;
    • abolished the requirement for the parent or caretaker to pay an advanced co-pay prior to enrollment;
    • children who turn 13 during the eligibility period will continue to receive the subsidy until the eligibility period ends;
    • codifying payment practices permitting tiered reimbursement for providers who voluntarily exceed the basic health and safety requirements;
    • codifying payment practices based on enrollment and not attendance, to include increasing the number of permitted absences from 25 to 50 per fiscal year;
    • after five consecutive days absent, the child maintains eligibility, but the enrollment is suspended until the child returns to care; and
    • establishment of waiver provisions and periods of presumptive eligibility for particular populations, including victims of domestic violence and families experiencing homelessness.

How To Submit A Comment

All public comments must be submitted in writing by December 14, 2020. All comments, suggestions, or objections should reference the regulation number, section, and subsection. Comments can be submitted using the following methods:

    • fax your comments to 717.214.6575; or
    • mail your comments to:Michael Ordonez
      Office of Child Development and Early Learning
      333 Market Street, 6th Floor
      Harrisburg, PA 17126

If you would like to receive a response, please include your contact information when submitting.

More Information

For information about the current regulations, visit the Pennsylvania Code website. To view the latest issue, read Volume 50 Number 46.

Share this flyer with your network.


September 8, 2020

Supporting Fathers as Central to Family Life

Are you interested in learning about what changes are needed to make room for fathers in the “first shift” of family life? Join Brazelton Touchpoints Center on November 17 for their webinar, “From ‘Second Shift’ to ‘First Shift’: Supporting Fathers as Central to Family Life.”


This webinar will focus on institutional, practitioner, and family changes that must occur to make room for fathers in the “first shift” of family life. It will showcase a user-friendly tool from the Supporting Father Involvement (SFI) program that can help organizations assess their “father friendliness.” Agency and program changes that increase fathers’ inclusion in family life will be shared. Presenters will highlight fathers’ contributions to family life in over-burdened, under-resourced communities, which often go unrecognized.


To register and learn more, visit the Brazelton Touchpoints Center website.


April 17, 2020

CHIP Will Maintain Enrollment During COVID-19 Crisis

On April 15, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) announced that it is “making temporary changes to Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to keep families enrolled in CHIP for the duration of the public health emergency and to ease access to medical services for children being screened or receiving treatment for COVID-19.

What is CHIP?

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is Pennsylvania’s program to provide health insurance to uninsured children and teens who are not eligible for or enrolled in Medical Assistance. For most families, the program is free. Families with incomes above the free CHIP limits pay low monthly premiums and copays for some services.

CHIP covers any uninsured child or teen up to the age of 19 and guarantees 12 months of coverage unless the family no longer meets basic eligibility requirements. There is not a waiting list to enroll in the program. Caregivers must renew their coverage every year to continue receiving services. To learn more and apply, visit the CHIP webpage.

Included Changes

The following changes to CHIP will be in effect until the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency:

    • Families will not be denied or disenrolled from coverage for administrative or financial reasons. An example of an administrative reason would be not being able to provide proof of income.
    • Families will not pay a copay for services that are for COVID-19 screenings, testing, or treatment.
    • Families who cannot provide paperwork to verify information on an application or renewal can provide self-attestation of information by signing the application or renewal.
    • Families will be given more time to pay premiums, if needed.

These changes were made due to the economic and financial hardship that many families across the Commonwealth are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, families must still provide verification of information provided on an application and are still responsible for copays for services not related to COVID-19.

Families will still be required to pay premiums, if applicable. However, if a family is unable to pay due to a decrease in or loss of income, that family must contact their managed care organization immediately and can request a reassessment because of an income change at any time.

More Information

For more information, read the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ full press release.


October 22, 2019

Webinar Available | Meeting the Requirements of CPSL

In response to changes to the child abuse clearances required of child care providers, the Pennsylvania Child Care Association (PACCA) partnered with the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to conduct the webinar, “Meeting the Requirements of CPSL: Ensuring the Safety of all Children in Care throughout PA.”


Due to high demand, PACCA posted a recording of their live webinar that was hosted on October 9, 2019. Featuring Tanya Vazquez and Diane Michel from OCDEL’s Bureau of Certification, the webinar discusses changes in Child Protective Services Legislation (CPSL).

Webinar Topics

Webinar topics include:

    • requiring the National Sex Offender Registry verification certificate (NSOR),
    • requiring individuals who have resided outside of Pennsylvania within the past five years to provide clearances from their previous state(s) of residency,
    • and changes to clearance requirements for volunteers and individuals with an ownership interest in regulated child care.

Watch the recording or visit their page to learn more.

More Information

For questions, contact your Regional Office of Child Development and Early Learning:

    • Central Region: 717.772.7078 or 800.222.2117
    • Northeast Region: 570.963.4371 or 800.222.2108
    • Southeast Region: 215.560.2541 or 800.346.2929
    • Western Region: 412.565.5183 or 800.222.2149


July 25, 2019

Changes Made to Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program

For Fiscal Year 2019-20, the Office of Child Development and Early Learning’s Rising STARS Tuition Assistance (RSTA) program has undergone several important changes. Administered by The Pennsylvania Key, RSTA helps cover a portion of tuition costs for early childhood professionals.

Fiscal Year 2019-20 Changes

The following changes have been implemented for FY 2019-20:

    • “Grandfathered” applicants seeking an AA, BA, or PreK-4 Teacher Certification will continue to receive 95% of tuition costs with a maximum benefit of $6,000 per individual. These applicants will need to transition to T.E.A.C.H. or another financial aid resource by Fiscal Year 2020-2021.
    • For new applicants for approved CDA or Credential Coursework, individuals will receive 95% of tuition costs and fees net of other funding sources for approved credential or CDA coursework up to eighteen (18) credits.
    • Additionally, new applicants for approved CDA or Credential Coursework can submit a request form (including receipt) for reimbursement for books after purchase.

More Information

To learn more about the RSTA program, visit the Pennsylvania Key website.

For questions, call 1.800.284.6031 or email

*Information provided by the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning


November 19, 2018

2019 Changes to the PA One Book Program

In 2019, the Pennsylvania One Book Program will adapt to meet the increasing need to support early literacy to Pennsylvania’s youngest learners. These changes include a shift in focus to get more books into the hands and homes of more children.

Available Books

There will be two books available for purchase:

  • Barnyard Banter” by Denise Fleming
    For infants and toddlers (available in English).
  • Not a Box” by Antoinette Portis
    For children ages three to five (available in English and Spanish).

There are no minimum or fixed quantities required. Early learning providers, library staff, and community partners can purchase the exact number of books needed. To keep costs more affordable, paperback options are the only available option.

Purchasing Details

Purchasing of the two titles are through Scholastic Publishing Family and Community Engagement (FACE) program. If your organization already participates in the FACE or Scholastic Literacy Partners Program, you will just need to complete the order form available from Scholastic Publishing. Click here for the order form.

A two-page Family Fun Guide for both titles will be available on the PA One Book website ( by January 2019. Other guides aligned with the Pennsylvania Standards for Early Childhood will also be available with activities for use by early childhood educators and families.

With this change, copies of the One Book titles will no longer be mailed to early learning programs, however, anyone may purchase and donate copies to child care homes and centers, as well as families.

*Information provided by NAEYC*


October 18, 2018

Comment On Proposed Changes To Child Care Regulations

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) announced that the proposed changes to the Child Care Regulations at 55 Pa. Code, Chapters 32703280 and 3290 are now available for review. The proposed changes can be viewed in the PA Bulletin.

All public comments must be submitted in writing by the closing date of the public comment period on November 13, 2018. All comments, suggestions or objections must reference the Regulation Chapter, Number, Section, and Subsection.


Via email:

Via fax: 717-787-1529

Via mail:

Tamula Ferguson
Bureau of Certification Services
Office of Development and Early Learning
Department of Human Services
333 Market Street, 6th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17105

Persons with a disability who require an auxiliary aid or service may submit comments using the AT&T Relay Service at 1-800-654-5984 (TDD users) or 1-800-654-5988 (voice users).

A public hearing will be held in Harrisburg at PaTTAN Harrisburg (6340 Flank Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17112) on November 2, 2018. The hearing begins at 10:00 AM. Registration is required and can be completed on the PA Department of Human Services site.

Current regulations can be viewed on the PA Department of Human Services site.