News

January 27, 2022

Updates to Health and Safety Training Requirements for Child Care Providers

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has issued an announcement updating health and safety training requirements for child care providers.

About

Due to updated guidance on the federal requirements for Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), all staff in certified child care programs must have preservice or orientation training (to be completed within three months) and an annual minimum of 12 hours in health and safety professional development in topics including:

  • pediatric first aid and pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

  • safe sleep practices, including risk reduction of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome/Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SIDS/SUID)

  • prevention and control of infectious diseases (including immunizations)

  • prevention of and response to emergencies due to food and allergic reactions

  • prevention of shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma/child maltreatment

  • building and physical premises safety

  • emergency preparedness and response planning

  • handling and storing hazardous materials

  • safely transporting children

  • mandated reporter training

Until pre-trainings have been completed, staff can’t care for children unsupervised. All child care staff, who have not already completed the required health and safety trainings, will be expected to show completion and documentation by April 29, 2022.

Find Required Trainings

The pre-service training is available on the Better Kid Care (BKC) website. The BKC’s online pre-service training courses meet the CCDBG health and safety required training topics and are the only modules that meet the pre-service training requirements for all child care staff.

Health and safety training topics can be found on the Professional Development (PD) Registry. Recognition and Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect (Mandated Reporter Training) is available through Keep Kids Safe. Additional training options include PA Child Welfare Resource Center and PA Family Support Alliance.

All child care staff must have documentation and verification of completion of preservice training and on-going annual professional development retained in the facility person’s file or maintained in an electronic PD Registry. The documentation must include, but is not limited to:

  • Signature of representative or trainer of the professional development entity

  • Title of a representative or trainer of the professional development entity

  • Date professional development training was completed

Questions

Read the full announcement for more information and details. Child care providers can direct comments and questions regarding this announcement to their Regional Office of Child Development and Early Learning. The Western Region office number is 800-222-2149.

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.