January 11, 2023

2023 Orientation Training Schedule for Prospective Operators of Child Care Facilities

The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has released the updated 2023 Orientation Training Schedule for Prospective Operators of Child Care Facilities.

Learn More

The 2023 Orientation schedules are available for Central, Northeast, Southeast and Western regions of Pennsylvania. All orientation sessions are available virtually only.

Those interested in participating must first complete within one year from the orientation, the Better Kid Care Department of Human Services’ training.

For full details, please see the individual regional information.


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.


July 7, 2022

Participate in the 2022 Child Care Market Rate Survey

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is asking all Pennsylvania licensed child care facilities to complete the 2022 Child Care Market Rate Survey and share information about tuition rates and the true cost of care.

(This post was updated on 10/03/22 to reflect updated information regarding the Market Rate Survey.)

About the Market Rate Survey

Every two years, OCDEL asks early care and education providers to submit updates on their costs or confirm there has not been any change. These updates and confirmations are necessary as OCDEL uses this information to consider future Child Care Works (CCW) base rate increases. When all providers participate, this accurate accounting of data may mean more money for resources and staff in the form of future increased base rates.

Complete the Survey

The 2022 Child Care Market Rate Survey should be completed by the facility’s director, owner, or other person who is knowledgeable about the facility’s operations and finances. The survey includes questions about private pay tuition rates, payments and fees, CCW program participation, enrollment, staffing, and operations. Private pay tuition rates collected from this survey will be used to update a facility’s rates in the PELICAN system. Rates from PELICAN are also displayed publicly on websites such as the Compass Provider search.

This survey has been mailed to all licensed child care facilities in Pennsylvania and may be completed online or on paper. Providers should complete the survey for the child care facility. If multiple facilities are owned by a single entity, a separate survey must be completed for each. Participation is voluntary, and participants may stop at any time. The minimum participation requirement is 50 percent of licensed providers. As of October 3, 2022, Pennsylvania has a 59 percent response rate to the survey. If you did not receive your mailed copy or misplaced it, please complete the Electronic MRS and return using instructions on the form.

The final deadline to complete the survey is October 11, 2022.

More Information

Those who have questions about the 2022 Child Care Market Rate Survey, those who need help submitting the survey, or those who have not received the survey should contact the Institute of State and Regional Affairs at or leave a toll-free voicemail at 866.982.6433.


January 28, 2022

Child Maltreatment Policy Required in Child Care Programs

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has announced a new certification requirement for child care providers to develop a policy and procedure to identify the prevention of shaken baby syndrome, abusive head trauma, and child maltreatment.


The Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) requires child abuse reporting and does not address the prevention of the acts defined in the law as child abuse, including shaking a baby, abusive head trauma and child maltreatment. Child abuse includes, but is not limited to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly:

  • Causing bodily injury to a child through any recent act or failure to act

  • Creating a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to a child through any recent actor failure to act

  • Forcefully shaking a child under one year of age

Required Policy

In addition to trainings required of all staff employed at a child care program, providers must have a policy and procedure to identify the prevention of shaken baby syndrome, abusive head trauma, and child maltreatment. The policy must include, but is not limited to:

  • Recognition of potential signs and symptoms of shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma

  • Strategies for coping with a crying, fussing, or distraught child

  • The prevention and identification of child maltreatment

PA Department of Human Services certified child care providers can reference Caring for Our Children Basics (CFOCB): Health and Safety Foundations for Early Care and Education, which represents the minimum health and safety standards experts believe should be in place where children are cared for outside of their homes for policy and procedure development. Policies must be in place by April 29, 2022.


For more information, read the full announcement from OCDEL. 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.


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.


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


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.


January 17, 2022

Apply: Family Support Program Funds

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), Bureau of Early Intervention Services and Family Supports, is seeking to award funds to qualified Applicants for the implementation or continuation of Family Support Programs, which consist of community-based, high-quality Evidence-Based Home Visiting (EBHV) services, as well as three categories of enhancements to these services: Evidence-Informed Programs, EBHV Model Enhancements, and Program Enhancements.


Family Support Programs help families access a broad array of supports and services, including formal supports (such as EBHV and parenting classes), informal supports (such as providing resources and connecting families to services in the communities), and a community system of services that promote the well-being of families and their children. Such services can take many different forms depending on the strengths and needs of the family, but their overarching goal is to help parents or caregivers enhance skills and resolve problems to promote optimal child development.

For this Request for Applications, applicants must apply to implement at least one EBHV Model, and may apply to implement one or more Enhancements.

To Apply

Application details can be found on the eMarketplace website. Applications must be received no later than March 11, 2022.


Potential applicants can submit questions via email to RAPWRFAQUESTIONS@PA.GOV by January 25, 2022. Answers to questions will be posted to the Department of General Services’ website no later than February 8, 2022.


January 12, 2022

Apply: PA Equity in Early Childhood Education Champion Awards

Applications and nominations are now being accepted for the Pennsylvania’s Equity in Early Childhood Education Champion Awards.

The awards recognize individuals or programs that have demonstrated support to children and their families through: embracing diversity and full inclusion as strengths, upholding fundamental principles of fairness and justice, and/or working to eliminate structural inequities that limit equitable learning opportunities.

About the Awards

The awards bring awareness to and highlight the equity work being done within Pennsylvania’s early childhood education and afterschool settings, and by child care, evidence-based home visiting and early intervention professionals, as it aligns with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Equity and Inclusion Toolkit, and with the position statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education Position Statement.


The following are categories of eligible entities. All must be physically located and operating within Pennsylvania, and providing services to Pennsylvania’s children.

  • Individuals: Individuals, employed at a Pennsylvania certified/licensed child care, afterschool, Early Intervention, or an Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) funded Family Support program. Individuals must be employed at the eligible program at the time of submission.

  • Early Childhood Education/Child Care and Afterschool: Programs must be certified/licensed by Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), and in good standing with DHS at time of submission. In addition, a Federal Head Start/Early Head Start grantee that operates a program that is certified/licensed by DHS may submit a nomination for the DHS certified/licensed program. Nomination categories include:

    • Child Care Center

    • Group Child Care Home

    • Family Child Care Home

    • Afterschool Program

  • Early Intervention: Programs providing Early Intervention services and supports are eligible to submit a nomination as it relates to early intervention services and equity.

  • OCDEL funded Family Support programs


Submissions can be an application (apply on your own or a program/organization’s behalf), or nomination (submit another individual or program/organization) to be acknowledged for their work around equity in the early childhood education or afterschool setting. Self-applications are accepted.

Applications/nominations and any supporting documentation will be submitted via electronic online submission process only. Applications may be submitted in English or in Spanish. All applications must be submitted by 5 pm, February 7, 2022.

Each completed submission will receive an official signed and framed certificate of placement level (Gold, Silver, Bronze) from OCDEL, appropriate for display. Completed submissions will also receive electronic copy and supporting images for their own digital use on websites, social media, electronic communications, etc.

Completed submissions will be promoted during April 2022 Month of the Young Child, with promotion by OCDEL.

More Information

Visit the Pennsylvania Key website for more information.


December 9, 2021

Child Care Certification Regulation Requirements to be Reinstated

To maintain compliance with the Office of Child Care (OCC) federal requirements, certain child care regulations extended under Act 73 of 2021 will be reinstated effective January 6, 2022. There will be some child care regulations that will continue to be suspended until further notice.


To assist child care providers with the transition of the reinstatement of certain regulatory requirements (relating to § 98.41 health and safety requirements and § 98.42 Enforcement of licensing and health and safety requirements), and continued suspension of other regulatory requirements, the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has provided a Regulation Reinstatement or Suspension End Dates: OCDEL Guidance Chart.

The chart outlines the regulation sections that were reinstated or suspended, and when child care certification staff will begin measuring compliance for the regulations that were reinstated. Some of the compliance dates will vary.

More Information

Details about the regulations that have been reinstated and those that remain suspended are outlined in the full announcement online.

Questions should be directed to the OCDEL Western Region Office at 800-222-2149.