News

August 3, 2022

2022 Market Rate Survey Webinar

The Pennsylvania Child Care Association (PACCA) will be hosting a webinar for child care providers who want to learn more about the 2022 Market Rate Survey.

About the Market Rate Survey

Every two years, the federal government requires that states conduct a Market Rate Survey of child care. Information from the Market Rate Survey provides the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) with important data to compare private pay prices with the Child Care Works (CCW) base rate reimbursements.

Rather than pulling information from Provider Self-Service as conducted in 2016 and 2019, this year the Market Rate Survey requires child care providers to fill out a survey form.

Webinar Information

The webinar, 2022 Market Rate Survey and YOU, will take place on August 17, 2022, at 11 a.m.

Topics will include the importance of the Market Rate Survey, the elements of the survey, and how the information may be used. There will be time for questions and discussion. The team from Penn State Harrisburg, Institute of State and Regional Affairs who are coordinating the survey collection and evaluation will be joining the webinar. They will also share the new complementary study they are working on to assess the Cost of Care.

Register for the 2022 Market Rate Survey and YOU Webinar.

News

July 27, 2022

PAS and BAS Community of Practice Pilots

The Program Quality Assessment team is offering two cohorts of the Business Administration Scale (BAS) Community of Practice (CoP) and is planning to offer a Program Administration Scale (PAS) CoP to eligible child care providers.

About the Program Administration Scale

The PAS CoP pilot will consist of 10 virtual sessions, each two hours in length, plus a pre-session for technology usage and a post session for final questions and next steps. Each session offers a deeper look into the items of the PAS and provides additional resources as well as networking opportunities.

Program directors who would like to participate should fill out an interest survey.

About the Business Administration Scale

Two cohorts of the BAS CoP is available for eligible family child care providers.

The CoP consists of 10 sessions, each 1.5 hours, plus a pre-session for technology usage and a post session for final questions and next steps. Each session offers a deeper look into the Items of the BAS and provides additional resources as well as networking opportunities.

Cohort 1 will run from September 2022 to March 2023 and Cohort 2 will run from January – June 2023. The cost is $70.

Family child care providers who have participated in the BAS professional development sessions are eligible for the CoP cohorts. Family child care providers who would like to participate should fill out an interest survey.

More Information

The expectation is that participants attend the entire series they choose. PQAS hours will be awarded for each session, and a certificate of completion will be awarded for those who complete all sessions. In addition, a variety of resource materials will be provided for each session.

 

News

July 26, 2022

Free Training Available: Strengthening Business Practices for Child Care Programs

The National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance, in partnership with the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and the PA Key, is offering Strengthening Business Practices for Child Care Programs this fall.

About

The training content and activities are designed to strengthen child care providers’ foundational knowledge of sound fiscal management and business operations.

The series contains four modules:

  • Budgets, Projections, and Planning

  • Financial Reports and Internal Controls

  • Marketing for Child Care Programs

  • Staff Recruitment and Retention for Center-based Child Care Programs

There are two versions of this series: one for center-based providers and one for family child care (based) providers. Sessions will begin as early as August and as late as December. See this flyer for session dates and registration details.

Trainings are available at no-cost to participants. PQAS and ACT 48 available. Attendance of full series is required for credit.

News

June 14, 2022

Survey: Marketing Needs for Child Care Providers

The PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is asking child care providers for input on their marketing needs.

About

OCDEL is conducting a survey to understand the marketing needs and challenges of licensed child care providers in Pennsylvania. Survey responses will help OCDEL inform future decisions and programs.

The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, June 24, 2022.

Take the survey.

News

June 7, 2022

Register: Live Demonstration of New Keystone STARS Designation System

The Pennsylvania’s Professional Development (PD) Registry will be holding a live demonstration of the new Keystone STARS Designation System for directors, administrators, and owners of child care programs in Pennsylvania.

About

On July 1, 2022, the new process for Keystone STARS pre-designation and designation applications launches into Pennsylvania’s Professional Development (PD) Registry. Moving more functionality into the PD Registry streamlines multiple processes into one system and designation for providers.

Child care providers can register for one of the following live demonstrations:

The demonstration will be recorded and posted to the Pennsylvania Key (www.pakeys.org) website.

Other Ways to Prepare

Other ways directors, administrators, and owners can prepare for this transition include:

  1. Completing an individual or personal PD Registry profile.

  2. Applying for placement on Pennsylvania’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) Career Pathway.

  3. Claiming your organization profile for your program.

  4. Assisting staff members in completing their PD Registry profile and applying for Career Pathway placement.

  5. Verifying your staff and complete classroom information in your program profile.

The Pennsylvania Key website has PD Registry tip sheets and video tutorials to complete these steps and more.

News

May 25, 2022

ELRC Region 5 Offering Pediatric First Aid and CPR Trainings

The Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) Region 5 is offering several Pediatric CPR and Pediatric First Aid training sessions in May and June 2022 to assist Allegheny County child care providers with recent changes to training requirements.

Training Requirements

Pediatric First Aid and Pediatric CPR is a required health and safety training topic that must be completed before a child care staff can care for children unsupervised. The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) Bureau of Certification Announcement C 22-01 requires staff to complete professional development in Pediatric First Aid and Pediatric CPR within 90 days of hire and renew their certification in Pediatric First Aid and CPR on/or before the expiration of the most current. In addition, effective April 29, 2022, the Pediatric First Aid and Pediatric CPR training must be conducted by an approved Pennsylvania Quality Assurance System (PQAS) Instructor using an OCDEL-recognized curriculum.

Details are available on Appendix A – Health and Safety Training Certification Requirements: FAQs and OCDEL Guidance Chart.

Session Details

ELRC Region 5 will offer trainings with approved PQAS Instructors and OCDEL-recognized curriculums at no cost to educators who meet the following requirements:

  • Currently working in a DHS Regulated Child Care setting in Allegheny County.

  • Have a valid CPR/First Aid Certificate from a training that was not conducted by a PQAS certified instructor and/or the curriculum used was not OCDEL approved.

  • Are not considered new hires.

A list of available sessions is on the ELRC Region 5 website and will be updated regularly.

 

News

April 21, 2022

Technology Access Award for Child Care Providers

Department of Human Services (DHS) certified child care centers can now apply for funding to purchase technology items such as laptops, wireless routers, tablets, and more to expand centers’ technological capacity and enrich the educational experience providers offer to young children and families.

About the Child Care Technology Access Awards

The Child Care Technology Access Awards are one-time grants available through federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act (CRRSA) funding. The award amount ranges from $2,500 to $5,500 and is based on the eligible DHS certified child care program’s provider type and licensed capacity. This funding opportunity will be awarded in the form of a voucher eligible recipients will use to order approved materials from the Kaplan Learning Company.

The following is a list of technology tools that eligible DHS certified child care programs can order through the award:

  • Accounting software
  • Headsets and Headphones
  • Laptop Computers
  • Office software
  • Portable Scanners
  • Printer/Scanners
  • Smaller items including printer ink and batteries
  • Tablets
  • Walkie-talkies
  • Web Cams
  • Wi-fi Access Point
  • Wi-fi Extenders
  • Wireless Routers

Eligibility

All eligible DHS certified child care providers, regardless of Keystone STAR Level, can apply. To be eligible, programs must meet the following requirements at the time of application submission and final approval:

  • be open and available to provide child care or temporarily closed no more than 14 consecutive business days due to COVID-19 exposure;
  • be in good standing with the Bureau of Certification Services and have a regular or provisional Certificate of Compliance (CoC);
  • have a Certificate of Compliance that is not in a Revocation or Refuse to Renew status with the Bureau of Certification Services; and,
  • not be under investigation by the Office of State Inspector General (OSIG) for fraud or previously convicted of fraud.

Apply

DHS certified child care programs who want to apply will be required to designate an authorized representative to complete and electronically sign an online Attestation Form.

Kaplan Learning Center began sending emails to eligible DHS certified child care programs on April 20, 2022. DHS certified child care programs who believe they are eligible but have not received an email from info@kaplanco.com, should first check their spam/junk email inboxes to make sure the email did not get sent there. Programs that didn’t receive an email should contact Kaplan at 1-800-334-2014. To inquire about eligibility status, email OCDEL at RA-ocdelsubchildcare@pa.gov.

More Information

For additional information about the Award, please see the Announcement ELRC 22-02 Child Care Technology Access Award.

News

April 18, 2022

Healthy Minds for Educators

All Pennsylvania early childhood education (ECE) professionals will have two years of free access to the Healthy Minds app, Healthy Minds @Work.

About Healthy Minds

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has invested in providing access to the Healthy Minds app to all ECE professionals in an effort to support them as they learn to cope with their personal trauma from the COVID-19 pandemic while also supporting the children and families they serve.

The Healthy Minds @Work program offers tools to help individuals train their minds to be more calm and focused, develop healthier relationships with colleagues, gain perspective in workplace interactions, and bring more meaning to work. With a combination of podcast-style lessons and both seated and active meditations, users learn what the science says about the brain and practice skills based on these insights.

According to an OCDEL announcement, users of the Healthy Minds @Work Program report burnout symptoms reduced by 25% and 70% reported a clinically significant decrease in depression, anxiety, and stress.

Access can be found on the Pennsylvania Key website where you will:

  1. Search for your Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) Region,

  2. Click on the link to get to to the login page for Healthy Minds.

  3. Download the app on your smart phone device and get started.

Community of Practice for Child Care Providers

The ELRC Region 5 will be hosting virtual Healthy Minds Communities of Practice sessions every Monday at 1:30 p.m. from May 9, 2022 through October 2022 for all child care providers. These are short sessions (15-minutes) where you can engage in a mindful practice together and talk about successes and challenges in practicing. Learn more about the Healthy Minds CoPs.

News

March 29, 2022

Everyday Interactions Matter: Deep and Simple in School Age Care

Child care providers in Allegheny County may participate in a free, 15-hour course, “Everyday Interactions Matter: Deep and Simple in School Age Care”.

Sessions will take place via Zoom on Tuesday evenings from March 1 to March 29, at 6:30 – 8 p.m.  Additional self-paced homework will be assigned via Schoology. Registration is available on the Trying Together website.

Receive Credit

All 15 hours must be completed to get PQAS and/or ACT 48 credit. If you are interested, we encourage you to register very soon! The link below gives details and dates for this course. If you successfully complete all 15 hours of the series PD, you can use these hours to matriculate into 1 stackable credit at Carlow University.

Course Description

The primary ingredient of quality in school age settings begins with the “everyday interactions” between educators and children. These simple and ordinary moments that take place during play, transition, and daily routines form the foundation for learning and growth.  

In this five-week course, school age learning professionals will engage with the Everyday Interactions Matter approach through a process of careful observation, discussion, and self-reflection. Educators will evaluate the impact their ordinary interactions have on child development and the overall quality of programming in their learning communities.  Course experiences offer school age educators the chance to cultivate professional self-awareness and community building.  Through the Everyday Interactions Matter approach, educators recognize powerful moments of connecting, sharing, learning, and belonging in their everyday interactions with school age children.

About Everyday Interactions Matter

Everyday Interactions Matter (EIM) is a professional development initiative designed to help early childhood educators learn and grow from their own practice. Through a strengths-based process of observation, discussion, and reflection, educators take a close look at the everyday moments they share with children. Video footage of adult-child interactions serves as the raw material for facilitating professional growth.

News

March 22, 2022

Everyday Interactions Matter: Deep and Simple in School Age Care

Child care providers in Allegheny County may participate in a free, 15-hour course, “Everyday Interactions Matter: Deep and Simple in School Age Care”.

Sessions will take place via Zoom on Tuesday evenings from March 1 to March 29, at 6:30 – 8 p.m.  Additional self-paced homework will be assigned via Schoology. Registration is available on the Trying Together website.

Receive Credit

All 15 hours must be completed to get PQAS and/or ACT 48 credit. If you are interested, we encourage you to register very soon! The link below gives details and dates for this course. If you successfully complete all 15 hours of the series PD, you can use these hours to matriculate into 1 stackable credit at Carlow University.

Course Description

The primary ingredient of quality in school age settings begins with the “everyday interactions” between educators and children. These simple and ordinary moments that take place during play, transition, and daily routines form the foundation for learning and growth.  

In this five-week course, school age learning professionals will engage with the Everyday Interactions Matter approach through a process of careful observation, discussion, and self-reflection. Educators will evaluate the impact their ordinary interactions have on child development and the overall quality of programming in their learning communities.  Course experiences offer school age educators the chance to cultivate professional self-awareness and community building.  Through the Everyday Interactions Matter approach, educators recognize powerful moments of connecting, sharing, learning, and belonging in their everyday interactions with school age children.

About Everyday Interactions Matter

Everyday Interactions Matter (EIM) is a professional development initiative designed to help early childhood educators learn and grow from their own practice. Through a strengths-based process of observation, discussion, and reflection, educators take a close look at the everyday moments they share with children. Video footage of adult-child interactions serves as the raw material for facilitating professional growth.