News

July 17, 2020

Child Care Providers Eligible for PA Hazard Pay Grants

On July 16, Governor Tom Wolf announced that $50 million in grant funding is available to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in vital industry sectors across Pennsylvania.

About the Grant

Created through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this reimbursement-based grant is available to employers offering hazard pay during the eligible program period and will be administered by the state Department of Community and Economic Development. Within the guidelines, child care is identified as an eligible industry (Health and Social Assistance).

Hazard pay is defined as additional pay for performing hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship, in each case that is related to COVID-19. Employers can apply for up to $3 million in funding. Grant funds can be used for hazard pay for direct, full-time, and part-time employees earning less than $20 per hour, excluding fringe benefits and overtime.

Funds can only be used to pay hazard pay for eligible employees for the 10-week period from August 16 through October 24, 2020.

Submit an Application

Applicants can apply for up to $1,200 per eligible full-time equivalent employee. The hazard pay must be paid to the eligible employee over the 10-week period of August 16 through October 24, 2020 as a $3 per hour hazard pay increase to their regular pay rate.

Employers can apply for a grant to provide hazard pay for up to 500 eligible full-time equivalent employees per location ($600,000 maximum grant per location). Applications will be received from July 16 through July 31, 2020. To apply for funding, submit an application through the Electronic Single Application.

More Information

For more information or questions, contact 717.787.6245 or ra-dcedcbf@pa.gov.

News

February 3, 2020

Recall Issued on More Than 165,000 Infant Incline Sleepers

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), along with four other companies, issued a recall on more than 165,000 infant incline sleepers due to a risk of suffocation.

About

According to the CPSC, the following companies have been impacted by the recall: Summer Infant, Graco, Delta Enterprises Corp., and Evenflo. The recall was issued due to reported infant fatalities after “the infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side, or under other circumstances” while using an infant incline sleeper. The CPSC urges consumers to immediately stop using the products listed below and to contact the companies to learn more about refund options.

Recalled Products

Recalled products include:

More Information

To learn more, read the full WTAE article.

*Information provided by WTAE

News

October 23, 2019

Co-Parenting Tips When You’re No Longer Together

In a recent article authored by Rebecca Parlakian, Zero to Three highlighted eight tips to help parents and caregivers overcome co-parenting challenges.

About

While co-parenting is often associated with separated parents, the term actually describes a larger pool of caregivers, including parents, grandparents, or another family member. Essentially, co-parenting refers to situation where adults share the duties of raising and caring for a child. When a relationship changes or ends, it often means a big change in the co-parenting process.

As Parlakain describes, “a strong, respectful co-parenting relationship helps children feel safe and secure.” However, building such a relationship isn’t always easy when parents are no longer married, romantically involved, or in good standing with one another. Learning to work together to raise a child takes time. Recognizing this, Parlakain identified eight co-parenting tips to help caregivers overcome common challenges.

Co-Parenting Tips

    • Remember your new roles (and new boundaries).
    • Keep your child at the center of your co-parenting work.
    • Let go of negative feelings, disappointments, and frustrations.
    • Let your children love your co-parent.
    • Text carefully.
    • Figure out what works for effective communication.
    • Assume the best.
    • Take care of yourself.

For full tip descriptions, read the original article on Zero to Three!

More Information

For more information and co-parenting strategies, visit the Zero to Three website.

News

July 25, 2019

House Committee Holds Hearing On Childhood Trauma

On July 11, Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, convened a hearing entitled “Identifying, Preventing, and Treating Childhood Trauma: A Pervasive Public Health Issue that Needs Greater Federal Attention.

About

Convening to hear directly from trauma survivors, public health experts, and government officials, the hearing examined the long-term consequences of childhood trauma and the insufficiency of the federal response to this urgent public health issue. The Committee on Oversight and Reform provided the following background information:

    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente conducted a landmark study that found adults who had suffered “adverse childhood experiences” were at much higher risk for leading causes of death in the United States, including heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, and suicide.
    • Extensive research demonstrates that exposure to community violence, homelessness, unsafe neighborhoods, bullying, racial and ethnic discrimination, income insecurity, natural disasters, intergenerational trauma, or historical trauma also increases the likelihood of negative health outcomes.

Key Takeaways

The hearing included the following key takeaways:

    • Childhood trauma is a pervasive public health issue with long-term negative effects that cost the United Stated billions of dollars.
    • Congress recently passed legislation that recognizes the severe consequences of childhood trauma, but current programs and initiatives are insufficient to address this public health issue.
    • Some states and localities are implementing promising programs to help prevent and treat childhood trauma that can inform federal solutions, but they are facing resource constraints that limit their ability to do so.
    • The United States needs a comprehensive federal approach that recognizes the severe impact of childhood trauma and prioritizes prevention and treatment.

*Information provided by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform

News

February 11, 2019

Previous Issues

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2022

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2018

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News

December 20, 2018

PA Wins Brandon Hall Group Excellence Bronze Award

In August 2018, the PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and PA Key course, Assessment: Beyond the Basics of Observation and Data Utilization, won the prestigious Brandon Hall Group Excellence Bronze Award for best in Custom Content.

The Excellence Awards

The Excellence Awards recognize the best organizations that have successfully deployed programs, strategies, modalities, processes, systems, and tools that have achieved measurable results. Award entries were evaluated by a panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, Brandon Hall Group analysts, and executives based upon the following criteria:

  • Fit the need
  • Design of the program
  • Functionality
  • Innovation
  • Overall measurable benefits.

See the full list awardees.

About the Course

The winning self-paced online course for early learning teachers provides an overview of classroom assessments of young children and how information from assessments can be used to inform instruction. The course was developed in collaboration with CyperhWorx, Inc. and was made possible through Pennsylvania’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant.

Professional Development

To register for the winning course (and others), visit the PA Professional Development Registry.

*Information provided by the PA Early Ed News

News

OCDEL Reports Progress on Infant/Toddler Policies

In 2017, the PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and stakeholders completed a policy scan with National State Capacity Building Center that identified short, medium, and long-term policy goals to support infants and toddlers in Pennsylvania.

Goal Progress

OCDEL is proud to report progress on those goals:

Short-Term Goal

The short-term goal to “adopt a shared definition of relationship-based care” across the ECE system is underway. OCDEL and Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) staff, in partnership with the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement, are focusing on Relationship-Based Competencies and developing shared definitions and language across systems.

Medium-Term Goal

The medium-term goal is to “develop a triaging protocol that creates a system akin to Early Head Start that will connect families of infants and toddlers in child care with comprehensive health (including oral) and family support services in their community.” This goal is reflected in the work of the ELRCs which are charged with ensuring all families have access to needed services beyond child care, such as CHIP, WIC, and family supports, including home visiting.

Long-Term Goal

The long-term goal is to “explore vouchers and contracts that fund the true cost of serving infants and toddlers.” Through the Infant/Toddler Contracted Slot Pilot, OCDEL is piloting contracted slots for infants and toddlers in Keystone STAR 3 and 4 programs. The pilot seeks to understand how contracted slots can support continuity of care for infants, toddlers, and their families and the financial impact on high-quality providers interested in seeking financial stability for the classrooms serving their youngest learners.

More Information

Additional details will be released in later editions of the PA Early Ed News.

*Information provided by the PA Early Ed News