May 21, 2020

CARES Act To Fund Nearly 7,000 Child Care Centers

In response to the  COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Tom Wolf announced on May 20, 2020 that an initial distribution of $51 million of funding from the CARES Act will support child care providers in Pennsylvania. Distributed in partnership with the General Assembly, this initial funding will reach nearly 7,000 early learning programs. The governor asserted that a healthy child care system was essential as Pennsylvania reopens.


The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) determines eligibility and the amount of award based on provider type, Child Care Works (CCW) subsidy enrollment, and regional capacity. CARES Act funds will be distributed to eligible, certified child care providers through regional Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs) and will be available in June 2020. Additional actions are required for child care providers.

Funding Information

In total, PA received $106 million in funding that will be distributed in two waves. The first wave of $51 million will be distributed per the conditions outlined above, to help providers prepare to reopen as counties move to the yellow phase. The remaining funding will be allocated following the completion of a study assessing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Pennsylvania’s child care providers.

Guidance for Child Care

In the Yellow Phase, child care providers are permitted to reopen without a permit so long as they follow CDC and DHS guidance for social distancing and cleaning.

For more information, please contact the Department of Health at 1.877.724.3258.

More Information

For more information about Governor Wolf’s announcement, read the full press release. The attestation form and process for the CARES Act funds for child care providers can be found online.


May 15, 2020

Guidance for Businesses in Counties Moving to Yellow Phase

On May 15, Governor Tom Wolf announced that 12 counties in Pennsylvania will be moving to the Yellow Phase of the Governor’s Plan to Reopen Pennsylvania on May 22, in addition to the 37 counties that transitioned into the Yellow Phase on May 8 or May 15. With this, the Governor provided guidance on May 4 that details procedures businesses must follow to conduct in-person operations in counties operating in or slated to move to the Yellow Phase. All businesses, including nonprofits, permitted to conduct in-person operations are subject to this guidance.

Guidance for Businesses

Under the Yellow Phase of reopening, life-sustaining businesses that could not conduct either all or part of their operations via telework will continue to conduct their operations in-person, and many non-life sustaining businesses will be permitted to restart their in-person operations through the loosening of some restrictions under the stay-at-home and business closure orders.

In counties that have been designated as in the yellow phase, all businesses, except those categories specifically listed as remaining closed in the Governor’s Plan to Reopen Pennsylvania, are permitted to conduct in-person operations, as long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance.

The guidance includes specific information on cleaning and disinfecting premises, limiting the number of employees in common areas and customers on premises, providing masks and sanitizing supplies for employees, installing shields or other barriers at registers and checkout areas to physically separate cashiers and customers, and creating a plan in case a business is exposed to a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19, among other provisions. View the full guidance.

Counties in the Yellow Phase

As of May 15 at 5 p.m., the following counties are in the Yellow Phase of reopening: Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cameron, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Potter, Snyder, Somerset, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Venango, Warren, Washington, Westmoreland, Wyoming, Wayne, and York.

Governor Wolf warned that future COVID-19 outbreaks remain possible and if an outbreak occurs, counties placed in the Yellow Phase may need to revert back to the Red Phase. Because of this, all community members and businesses should continue social distancing, practicing safe hygiene, and limiting contact with others as much as possible. For counties in the Red Phase, Governor Wolf encourages individuals to “make choices that will lead to fewer cases and a faster move to lifted restrictions.”

To learn more about what the Red Phase, Yellow Phase, and Green Phase entail, visit the Process to Reopen Pennsylvania page.

Guidance for Child Care

In the Yellow Phase, child care providers are permitted to reopen without a permit so long as they follow CDC and DHS guidance for social distancing and cleaning.

For more information, please contact the Department of Health at 1.877.724.3258.

More Information

For more information, read the full press release. Businesses that have questions about whether this guidance applies to them may contact the Department of Health at 1.877.724.3258.


March 24, 2020

Questions Answered for Families During Time of Uncertainty

Join the PEAL Center on Wednesday, March 25 for their webinar, “Questions Answered for Families During Time of Uncertainty.”


In this webinar, PEAL Center team members will review the latest information and identify key information for families who have children with IEPs. Their goal is to ensure that families understand their rights under IDEA while encouraging collaborative problem solving and creative solutions. By attending, participants will hear about critical and timely information, including evolving guidance, resources for families, strategies for progress monitoring at home, and answers to questions you may have.


To register and learn more, visit the event webpage.


October 30, 2019

OCDEL Announces New Community Survey


Every five years, states have the opportunity to learn about the well-being of families of young children in local communities. Pennsylvania is asking any individual living in the state to complete this short survey. Through the data collected, Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) will better understand the resources for families living in your community. Survey responses will be used statewide and locally to inform Family Support Services, such as parenting classes and home visiting services.

Hearing from everyone is important! Whether you’re a parent or a provider of family and early childhood services, please complete and share this survey.

Take the OCDEL Community Survey

In English

Please take about five to ten minutes to complete the survey. Your input is critical to informing stakeholders about the factors that may affect the well-being of young children and families in communities across Pennsylvania.

If you wish to complete the OCDEL Community Survey in English, enter the following link into your web browser:

En Español

Le pedimos que pase entre 5 a 10 minutos para contestar la encuesta. Sus aportes son muy importantes para nosotros ya que nos ayudarán a identificar y comprender los factores que pueden afectar la salud dentro de su familia y su comunidad en Pennsylvania.

Si desea completar la encuesta en español, meter el enlace siguiente en su navegador de internet:

More Information

To learn more, read the full announcement.

*Information provided by OCDEL


December 13, 2018

DHS Releases Request for Information

The Department of Human Services (DHS) recently released a Request for Information (RFI) to explore existing individual or family needs assessments, methods of connecting individuals and families to community resources, and models for providing whole-person or whole-family case management.


The department recognizes the frustration individuals and families may experience while trying to access much-needed services in a timely manner when receiving case management from multiple agencies. DHS wants to make it easier for individuals to obtain meaningful information and access to the services they need to achieve overall wellbeing, positive health outcomes, and financial self-sufficiency. Their goal is to build a system that addresses each family’s needs and amplifies the work of health care providers and community organizations.

Submissions and Deadlines

If your organization has experience in any of the areas outlined in this RFI, respond by January 18, 2019 by visiting the Pennsylvania eMarketplace website.

*Information provided by PA Early Ed News