News

November 20, 2019

Get Ready for the Next Steps

Are you wondering about how the preschool enrollment process works? Unsure of how to assess or choose a local school for your child? Have questions about whether your child is ready for Pre-K or Kindergarten?

Join us at the Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library for an information session co-hosted by A+ Schools and Trying Together, with Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Early Education. A pizza dinner will be served. Children are welcome! This is event is FREE and open to the public.

Questions

For more information, call 412.682.4430 or email outreach@pghtoys.org.

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News

November 11, 2019

What’s It Really Worth? How to Run a Profitable Child Care Business

In this professional development course, participants will learn the basic principles of operating the business of a child care program. Strategies to maximize profits and minimize expenses, public funding sources, and STARS participation effects will be highlighted. This session is intended for program directors of centers, family child care homes, and group child care homes.

    • Course Timeline: November 11 – December 9, 2019
    • CKC: D8.4 C2, D8.2 C3, D8.7
    • Keystone STARS Alignment: LM. 2.1 / CDA:5 and 6

Four professional development hours available after completion. Limited spaces are available.

Questions

For more information on how to register, contact Jasmine Davis at 412.567.3933 or jasmine@tryingtogether.org.

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Registration

To register, complete the form below.


News

June 1, 2019

Behaviors: Ours & Theirs | WCCC Mini-Conference

On behalf of OCDEL and hosted by WCCC’s Early Childhood Education/Pre-K – Grade 4 Program, the “Behaviors: Ours & Theirs” mini-conference will focus on improving practitioners’ knowledge and skill to support children’s social and emotional development through culturally relevant practices, as well as exploring how to apply these skills to practitioners’ CQI plans.

About

Early childhood professionals are invited to attend a personalized mini-conference experience. Attendees will split into two groups and presenters will offer each session two times so that each group will have an opportunity to participate in both sessions. Participants will be provided with a continental breakfast, welcome and introduction, two educational sessions (each including a bound notebook of instructional materials), and a tour of WCCC’s NAEYC accredited Campus Children’s center.

This event includes 3 credit hours; PQAS approved. Participants should be familiar with the ECERS and other Keystone STARS CQI tools such as CLASS, PAS, and Good, Better Best.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will be able to:

  • Discuss and recognize positive observation and interactions with children and families,
  • Examine and organize their understanding of culture and how positive interactions can lead to solid  relationships with children and families,
  • Review commonly used Keystone STARS CQI tools to determine areas where changes or improvements can be made in their programs,
  • Explain why these changes will enhance the positive social and emotional development of children, and
  • Discuss how these changes will also help them recognize and value cultural diversity.

Registration

To register for this event, visit the registration document!

Registration is required and is $15 for the first 50 registrants! This fee is due (paid by check) on the day of the event, June 1, 2019. To learn more about the event, visit the PD Registry website.

Questions

For questions, contact Vicki Hricik at hricikv@westmoreland.edu or 724.925.4023.

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News

April 18, 2019

PA Pre-K Counts Announces Request for Applications

Pennsylvania’s fiscal year (FY) 2019-20 proposed budget continues to build on the governor’s commitment to high-quality early learning services and includes more than $1.1 billion in state and nearly $850 million in federal support for Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) programs. This proposal represents the further steps toward achieving the goal of universal access to high-quality pre-k programs.

With new investments in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts ($40 million) and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program ($10 million), the state will be able to increase the number of children served in high-quality pre-k. Due to this proposed funding, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is seeking applicants for PA Pre-K Counts.

About Pre-K Counts

PA Pre-K Counts provides children with the opportunity to experience a high-quality pre-kindergarten program. The program standards ensure a high return on the investment in the preparation of young children for school and will help to close the achievement gap. Early education through PA Pre-K Counts can open the doors of opportunity for every child to do well in school, the workforce, and life.

About the Request for Applications (RFA)

PDE is issuing this RFA to support providers in preparing to serve children and to be ready for September enrollment. The department recognizes that providers need to conduct outreach to families; recruit, hire and train staff; and do all of the planning necessary to successfully implement the program pending approval of proposed funding.

Information on the application process can be accessed at PKC How to Apply.

Eligible Applicants

Pennsylvania continues to be committed to a mixed delivery system. As such, eligible applicants include existing PA Pre-K Counts grantees and new applicants from five eligible entity categories:

  1. School districts;
  2. PDE Licensed nursery schools;
  3. Head Start grantees;
  4. Child care centers and group child care homes designated at Keystone STAR 3 or 4; and
  5. A third party entity applying for Pennsylvania Pre‐K Counts funding to administer the lead agency responsibilities for entities that are eligible to provide the classroom services under the categories listed above.

PDE encourages all eligible entities to assess community need and apply for funding to support eligible children in their communities. There is no limit to the number of slots that may be requested through this application process.

Eligibility Criteria

Age (three and four-year-old children) and family income (at or below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines) are the primary eligibility criteria for participation in PA Pre-K Counts. Additional priorities for enrollment should be developed at the local level and may include:

  • teen parents,
  • migrant or seasonal students,
  • children of a family experiencing homelessness,
  • children involved in the child welfare system,
  • siblings of children already enrolled in the program,
  • English language learners,
  • children of an incarcerated parent, or
  • children receiving early intervention or behavioral health supports.

Required Documentation

Applicants must have the following in place to complete an application: a Letter of Intent, a vendor number (SAP #), an administrative unit number (AUN), a master provider index number (MPI), and a federal ID number or tax ID number.

PA Pre-K Counts Statute, Regulations, and Guidance

Any applicant should thoroughly review PA Pre-K Counts Statute, Regulations, and Guidance prior to submission of a letter of intent to apply to ensure an understanding of the program requirements and expectations of compliance if an application is successful. The application review process will include evaluation of the extent to which the applicant demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the PA Pre-K Counts Statute and Regulations.

Required Letter of Intent

Because of the need to establish access to eGrants procurement system, eligible organizations must submit a completed Letter of Intent to apply for funds. The template posted at PKC How to Apply must be used. The Letter of Intent represents intent to apply for PA Pre-K Counts funding and includes the legal name of the eligible agency that will apply, the AUN associated with the applying legal entity, preliminary information about requested funding, program model, provider type, and area to be served. Except for the legal entity and AUN, information submitted in the Letter of Intent may be modified in the final eGrants application.

Programs interested in applying must submit a fully completed Letter of Intent by 3 pm on May 8, 2019 to RA-PAPreKCounts@pa.gov. Programs that do not submit a timely Letter of Intent will not be able to apply in the eGrants system. Late submissions will not be accepted. Those agencies submitting a fully complete Letter of Intent by the due date will be notified when the PA Pre-K Counts application is open in eGrants.

Administrative Unit Number (AUN Number)

PA Pre-K Counts applicants will need to supply a valid AUN number within the Letter of Intent. A Letter of Intent without a valid AUN that matches the legal name of the applying entity will not be accepted. To verify your AUN number or to check to see if you have one assigned to your agency, visit EDNA. If you are an Intermediate Unit, select Search for Intermediate Units. If you are not an Intermediate Unit, select Advanced Search, and search for your agency.

Applicants that are not already licensed by PDE and therefore do not have an AUN number should contact Brian Bell (bribell@pa.gov, 717.346.0038) or James Redd (jaredd@pa.gov) at OCDEL.

Vendor Number (SAP #)

The supplied vendor number MUST align with the legal name and address provided in the application. A vendor number and account can be set up by registering at Vendor Number Registration selecting the Non-Procurement Registration Form. All agencies applying for PA Pre-K Counts grants must be pre-registered. The Central Vendor Management Unit is a storage database. The Comptroller uses this account to store direct deposit information.

If you have any questions about vendor numbers, please contact Brian Bell (bribell@pa.gov, 717.346.0038) or James Redd (jaredd@pa.gov) at OCDEL.

Master Provider Index (MPI #)

The supplied MPI number MUST align with the legal name and address provided in the application. All PA Pre-K Counts applicants will need an MPI number if the application is successful. The number is requested as part of the application process to ensure timely contracting for approved applications. MPI numbers are used by the PA Department of Human Services to identify legal entities and service locations that participate in any of its programs. As such, they are used in PELICAN as a common identifier for all OCDEL programs, including child care licensing, Early Intervention, PA Pre-K Counts, Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program, and Keystone STARS.

Legal entities are assigned a unique nine-digit MPI number. In addition, service locations are assigned a unique 13-digit MPI number, which is created by adding a four-digit extension to the nine-digit MPI of the legal entity. Legal entities and service providers currently participating in any of these programs should have an MPI number.

Applicants that are not currently participating in any of these programs should contact the Early Learning Network (ELN) Help Desk at 877.491.3818 and provide their Federal Tax ID to determine their MPI numbers. MPI numbers will not be provided without a Federal Tax ID number.

Tax ID Number or Federal ID Number

This is the number that an agency uses on its federal W-9 form. Applicants for PA Pre-K Counts funds should consult with the person who handles tax, legal, or accounting matters for the agency to determine the federal ID number. Use the number that aligns with the legal name and address provided in this application. The correct number must be provided when requested in order to process an application. Failure to do so will result in significant delays in funding approved applicants for FY 2019-20. This number is often referred to as the “FEIN number” by OCDEL staff.

Pre-application recorded webinar

An asynchronous pre-application webinar will be posted at PKC How to Apply after April 23, 2019 to assist interested applicants in the completion of the application. The webinar will include information on the application process and program requirements.

Questions & More Information

All questions regarding this competitive RFA process should be directed to Project Officer Deborah Wise only, by sending an email to RA-PAPreKCounts@pa.gov.

In order to provide consistent messaging and an equitable application process, ONLY questions sent to RA-PAPreKCounts@pa.gov, will be addressed. Questions and responses not already covered in either Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Statute, Regulations, and Guidance, or within the Application Guidance document, will be included in an on-going Frequently Asked Questions document posted at PKC How to Apply.