News

October 10, 2022

Fall 2022 NAEYC Survey of the Field Available

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is conducting a new survey to gather current data from the field to inform federal and state actions on child care.

(This article was updated on October 18 to reflect a new deadline).

About the Survey

From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, NAEYC has been surveying child care programs to convey the challenges they are facing across states and settings.

Early childhood educators can answer the questions about how their programs are currently doing, regardless of what kind of child care program they work in or what role they have there.

The survey will close on Sunday, October 23, 2022.

See results from past NAEYC surveys.

News

February 10, 2022

Webinar: Update on COVID-19 Infections and Vaccines

Two years into the global pandemic, Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care programs continue to give their best to protect our children, families, and staff. This webinar by the Office of Head Start will present the latest COVID-19 information for programs providing comprehensive services in center-based, home-based, family child care, and other early care and education settings.

This webinar will be offered with simultaneous interpretation in Spanish.

Topics for the webinar include:

  • Updates on the COVID-19 pandemic
  • COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 and up
  • COVID-19 risk reduction strategies

This webinar will benefit:

  • Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care program staff, families, directors, managers, and administrators
  • Home visitors
  • Child care health consultants
  • Head Start federal staff
  • Head Start national and regional TTA staff
  • Head Start Collaboration Office directors

Register

Wednesday, February 16, 2022 | 2 p.m.
Register online 

News

January 28, 2022

CDC Updates COVID-19 Guidance ECE/Child Care Program Operations

On January 28, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released updated information for COVID-19 Guidance for Operating Early Care and Education/Child Care Programs.

About

The CDC’s updates include guidance to reflect new quarantine and isolation guidance and recommendations, specifying the circumstances when isolation and quarantine periods can be shortened, and updated guidance regarding staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.

Key takeaways and updates include:

  • Isolation and quarantine periods can be reduced to five days for people who can consistently wear well-fitting masks, as long as they remain symptom free, or fever has ended and symptoms have improved. For details, see CDC’s page on Quarantine and Isolation.

  • Layered COVID-19 prevention strategies remain critical to protect people, including children and staff, who are not up to date or eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, especially in areas of moderate-to-high community transmission levels.

  • Promotion of vaccination among all eligible individuals can help Early Care and Education (ECE) programs protect staff and children in their care, as well as their families.

Though these are not mandates, the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) recommends that child care programs follow the CDC COVID-19 Guidance for Operating Early Care and Education/Child Care Programs.

News

January 11, 2022

January 2022 NAEYC Survey of the Field Available

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is conducting a new survey to gather current data from the field to inform federal and state actions on child care.

About the Survey

From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, NAEYC has been surveying child care programs to convey the challenges they are facing across states and settings.

Early childhood educators can answer the questions regardless of whether their child care program is open, closed, or somewhere in between, and regardless of what kind of child care program they work in, or what role they have there.

The survey will close on Monday, January 17, 2022.

News

January 4, 2022

CDC Isolation and Quarantine Updates

As of Monday, December 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is shortening the recommended time for isolation for the public. People with COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.

COVID-19 Exposure

The CDC has updated the recommended quarantine period for anyone in the general public who is exposed to COVID-19. For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days. Alternatively, if a 5-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure. Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.  For all those exposed, best practice would also include a test for SARS-CoV-2 at day 5 after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

Additional Information

Individuals should refer to the CDC website for updated information on protocols following a COVID-19 exposure or positive test.

News

December 24, 2021

COVID-19 Added to List of Reportable Communicable Diseases

The Pennsylvania (PA) Department of Health (DOH) has added COVID-19 to the list of reportable communicable diseases for child care programs.

About

PA DOH requires that COVID-19 be reported within 24 hours. A link to the updated list of reportable diseases is provided at: PA Dept of Health reportable diseases.

After a child or facility person contracts or is showing symptoms of a communicable disease or infection, the child care provider must exclude that person from the facility and must receive notification from a physician or a nurse practitioner (CRNP) that the person is no longer considered a threat to the health of others before the child or facility person may return  to the facility.

Any child or facility person reporting positive test results or showing symptoms of COVID-19 can’t be in attendance at the child care facility. Upon return, the individual must provide a written note or a negative test result signed and verified by a physician or nurse practitioner (CRNP) clearing them to return to the child care facility. A home test or any other negative test results that have not been reviewed, signed and verified by a physician or CRNP will not be acceptable for a child or a facility person to return to the child care facility.

More Information

For details, read the Office of Child Development and Early Learning’s (OCDEL) announcement.

News

December 13, 2021

2021 State of Child Welfare Report

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children has released their 2021 State of Child Welfare Report, which raises concerns about the need to strengthen the child welfare system. Data was collected in 2020, highlighting only the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report shows a decrease in child protective services reporting and the number of children placed in foster care statewide.

Report Findings

In 2020 there were 32,919 CPS reports, which was a 22% decline in reports from 2019, but the substantiation of reports was the highest in the last five years, with 14% of reports being investigated and found to be true. Notably, stay-at-home orders, moving to virtual learning, and less contact with medical professionals created a significant decrease in mandated reporting trends during the year for which the most recent data is available.

While substantiation rates did increase, data from 2021 will be significant to see how trends shift as schools resumed in-person instruction. There was subsequently more interaction between mandated reporters, such as teachers, with children and families. We anticipate the 2021 data will show an increase in referrals and a potential decrease in substantiation as the system struggles to respond to the needs of children experiencing abuse and neglect during an unprecedented time of crisis.

In 2020, 21,689 children were served in the Pennsylvania foster care system, a 12% decrease in the total population from the prior year. Fewer referrals being made by mandated reporters means fewer occasions to identify abuse leading to placement.

Additional Information

The full 2021 State of Child Welfare report, as well as a snapshot for each county, can be viewed on the Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children website.

News

December 8, 2021

Webinar – COVID-19 Vaccines for School-Aged Children: What Parents and Families Should Know

Join NAFSCE and the U.S. Department of Education on December 9 at 8:00pm, ET for an informational webinar following the official approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech age 5-11 vaccine. Registration for this virtual event is available online.

During the webinar, panelists including United States Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten, along with representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics, will join NAFSCE Executive Director, Vito Borrello for a series of presentations and constructive conversation to support parents and families as they consider the COVID-19 vaccine for their child(ren). Parents and caregivers can learn more about the following questions:

  • How was the vaccine developed?
  • How many children participated in the study for approval?
  • Will my child(ren) be safe taking the vaccine?
  • What are the side effects?
  • Should my child(ren) get the vaccine?
  • Where can I take my child to get the vaccine?

Parents are invited to submit questions about the vaccine on the registration form. Pre-submitted questions will help plan the content of the session. Time will also be reserved for live questions and answers at the end of the event.

News

Webinar – What Early Care and Education Staff Need to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines for Children 5-11

Join ACF Office of Early Childhood Development and pediatric experts to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11. This webinar will provide information about this new way to protect children from serious illness due to COVID-19. Explore strategies to address parental concerns about vaccine safety and how programs can support families to make informed decisions about choosing to vaccinate their children.

Registration for this virtual event is available online.

News

November 10, 2021

Homewood Community Vaccination Clinic

Join Pitt Community Engagement Center in Homewood and Homewood Children’s Village for a free vaccination clinic. No appointments are needed, and walk-ins are welcome. Booster shots and flu shots are also available.

Location

Pitt CEC in Homewood
622 N. Homewood Avenue

Dates and Times

  • November 15 | 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • November 16 | 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • November 18 | 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • November 19 | 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Additional Information

Additional information is available on the Pitt CEC website, or by calling 412.383.4372