News

November 19, 2020

Virtual Community of Practice Meetings

Are you interested in discussing topics of interest and current trends with fellow professionals in the early childhood field? Join ELRC Region 5 for their virtual Community of Practice sessions!

About

Community of Practice sessions provide early learning professionals with opportunities to discuss topics of interest, current trends in the early childhood field, and offer insight and inspiration to their fellow professionals.

In November, these virtual sessions will discuss how to create Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) plans using approved program observation instruments, creating goals from the results of those instruments, identifying the steps it will take to reach the goals, and who is responsible for ensuring the goal is implemented. Participants will learn about the importance of including staffs’ professional development plans and how to use the CQI throughout the whole year.

Available Sessions

    • Saturday, November 14: Continuous Quality Improvement Plan
      10 a.m.  |  Zoom Meetings  |  Attend the Session

More Information

For questions, contact ELRC Region 5 at  elrc5@alleghenycounty.us or 412.350.3577.

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News

Virtual Community of Practice Meetings

Are you interested in discussing topics of interest and current trends with fellow professionals in the early childhood field? Join ELRC Region 5 for their virtual Community of Practice sessions!

About

Community of Practice sessions provide early learning professionals with opportunities to discuss topics of interest, current trends in the early childhood field, and offer insight and inspiration to their fellow professionals.

In November, these virtual sessions will discuss how to create Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) plans using approved program observation instruments, creating goals from the results of those instruments, identifying the steps it will take to reach the goals, and who is responsible for ensuring the goal is implemented. Participants will learn about the importance of including staffs’ professional development plans and how to use the CQI throughout the whole year.

Available Sessions

    • Saturday, November 14: Continuous Quality Improvement Plan
      10 a.m.  |  Zoom Meetings  |  Attend the Session

More Information

For questions, contact ELRC Region 5 at  elrc5@alleghenycounty.us or 412.350.3577.

Share this flyer with your network.

News

November 14, 2020

Virtual Community of Practice Meetings

Are you interested in discussing topics of interest and current trends with fellow professionals in the early childhood field? Join ELRC Region 5 for their virtual Community of Practice sessions!

About

Community of Practice sessions provide early learning professionals with opportunities to discuss topics of interest, current trends in the early childhood field, and offer insight and inspiration to their fellow professionals.

In November, these virtual sessions will discuss how to create Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) plans using approved program observation instruments, creating goals from the results of those instruments, identifying the steps it will take to reach the goals, and who is responsible for ensuring the goal is implemented. Participants will learn about the importance of including staffs’ professional development plans and how to use the CQI throughout the whole year.

Available Sessions

    • Saturday, November 14: Continuous Quality Improvement Plan
      10 a.m.  |  Zoom Meetings  |  Attend the Session

More Information

For questions, contact ELRC Region 5 at  elrc5@alleghenycounty.us or 412.350.3577.

Share this flyer with your network.

News

April 17, 2020

No Small Matter – Virtual Screening

Join co-hosts Trying Together and Start Strong PA on Friday, April 17, 2020 for a virtual screening and discussion of No Small Matter, a documentary film that highlights the importance of high-quality early education and its impact on all Americans.

This event will be hosted on Zoom. Digital access links will be emailed to all attendees during the week of the event. Registration is required.

Itinerary

    • 11:00 – 11:45 | Documentary Screening
    • 11:45 – 12:15 | Discussion*
    • 12:15 – 12:30 | Action Item and Wrap Up

*Additional time may be included for further discussion.

Registration

To save your spot, complete this registration form!

Questions

For questions, contact:

About No Small Matter

No Small Matter is the first feature documentary to explore the most overlooked, underestimated, and powerful force for good in America today: early childhood education. Through poignant stories and surprising humor, the film lays out the overwhelming evidence for the importance of the first five years, and reveals how our failure to act on that evidence has resulted in an everyday crisis for American families, and a slow-motion catastrophe for the country.

News

January 27, 2020

Take Action to Support Infants and Toddlers in Pennsylvania

Are you interested in advocating to increase access to and the affordability of child care for infants and toddlers in Pennsylvania? Take action by completing Start Strong PA’s current advocacy ask!

About

In December 2019, a campaign for high-quality child care in Pennsylvania called Start Strong PA delivered a New Year’s resolution photo frame to every member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The frames included a spot for a photo, a place for their signature, and the following resolution:

In 2020, I resolve that all children deserve to start strong.
I will support the healthy development of all Pennsylvania’s infants and toddlers by fighting for greater access to high-quality child care.

Now, Start Strong PA is encouraging the General Assembly to take a picture with the signed photo frame and share it across their social media platforms. However, Start Strong PA needs your help! Throughout January, the campaign is asking Pennsylvania families and caregivers to send in photos of their infants and toddlers to place inside the frames. Will you reinforce Start Strong PA’s mission to increase access to and the affordability of high-quality infant/toddler early learning programs?

How You Can Help

To send in a photo, complete the following steps:

    • Find your Senator or Representative by visiting: http://bit.ly/StartStrongPAresolution.
    • Type in your address and press search.
    • You will be given links to your Pennsylvania House and Senate members.
    • Click on the link (their name) and you will be sent to their website. On the left-hand side, you can find their Harrisburg office address.
    • Place the 4 x 6 photo(s) and a message that says “Make me your New Year’s resolution!” in an envelope, add postage, and mail to their Harrisburg office.

Looking to go a step further? Send your Senator and Representative a reminder as well by completing a pre-filled form on our Take Action page!

More Information

For questions or to send your picture to Start Strong PA, email info@startstrongpa.org.

News

January 6, 2020

Setting Your Rates: The Cost of Quality

Join the Pennsylvania Child Care Association (PACCA) on January 6 for “Setting Your Rates: The Cost of Quality and the Market Rate Survey” to gain a better understanding of the variables that impact quality, how to incorporate those key elements into your budget, and identify and combine funding streams to achieve your program goals.

About

Child Care Works subsidy rates are established by OCDEL based in part on the private pay rates providers report in PELICAN. Are your rates based on your actual costs? How much does “quality” child care really cost and how do you calculate that? Join PACCA to hear from experienced administrators of high-quality programs on how they budget for the true cost of quality and the funding/support needed to achieve high-quality based on their program standards. Hear tips and learn about resources to ensure your budget reflects your goals and the true costs of operating a quality child care program.

Registration

To register, visit the PACCA website.

Learn More

For questions, contact Maureen Murphy at 717.657.9000, x 107.

*Information provided by the Pennsylvania Child Care Association (PACCA)

News

January 3, 2020

Environment Rating Scale (ERS) 101

This 2-hour seminar is part of the Keystone STARS Core training series an is a pre-requisite for the ITERS-R, ECERS-R, or SACERS seminars. Participants will learn how the Environment Rating Scale (ERS) measures quality; how the ERS scales are used in PA; and how to accurately score the ERS. Upon completion of this seminar, participants will be properly prepared for the specific scale PD seminars: 201 ITERS-R; 202 ECERS-R; 203 SACERS.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, learners will be able to:

    • describe the purpose and intent of the ERS;
    • identify how the scales measure quality;
    • identify how to use the scales to conduct a self-assessment; and
    • prepare participants for specific ERS professional development.

This session was developed by the PA Key Program Quality Assessment team and includes content used with the permission of the ERS authors. The session is facilitated by a PA Key Program Quality Assessor reliable in the ERS instruments. If you have taken an ITERS-R, ECERS-R, and/or a SACERS prior to July 2007, this course is not required. PQAS hours provided.

Registration

To register and learn more, visit the Pennsylvania PD Registry website.

PD Registry Event ID: 309219

More Information

For questions, contact Michelle Long at miclon@pakeys.org.

*Information provided by The Pennsylvania Key

News

December 4, 2019

PD Registry & Career Pathway | Director Webinar

Join Pennsylvania (PA) PD Registry and Career Pathway staff at the Pennsylvania Key on December 4 for their webinar, “PD Registry and Career Pathway Information for Directors.”

About

This webinar seeks to support program directors in their effort to help their staff use PA’s PD Registry and understand the ECE Career Pathway. Featured topics include completing a PD Registry profile, uploading education documents, and submitting information to be placed on the Career Pathway. More information on Pennsylvania’s Quality Initiatives for the Early Childhood Education workforce will be provided.

Registration

To learn more and register, visit the event webpage.

More Information

For questions, call 1.800.284.6031 or email registry@pakeys.org.

News

October 23, 2019

Children’s Fund Working Group Presents Report to County Executive

In October 2019, the Allegheny County Children’s Fund Working Group formally presented County Executive Rich Fitzgerald with a report for his review and consideration. In it, the Group recommends the creation of a new county department dedicated to children, as well as an annual investment of up to $20 million to support high-quality learning and out-of-school-time programs.

About

Officially launched in May 2019, the Allegheny Children’s Fund initiative is a citizen-led effort that seeks to “change the way we fund the efforts that are proven to ensure the health and well-being of our kids across the county: early learning, after school programs, and good nutrition.” In November 2018, the Group successfully qualified a question for the General Election ballot, asking voters:

“Shall the Allegheny County Home Rule Charter be amended to establish the Allegheny County Children’s Fund, funded by Allegheny County levying and collecting an additional 0.25 mills, the equivalent of $25 on each $100,000 of assessed value, on all taxable real estate, beginning January 1, 2019 and thereafter, to be used to improve the well-being of children through the provision of services throughout the County including early childhood learning, after school programs, and nutritious meals?”

While the group exceeded their goal of collecting more than 40,000 petition signatures from community members and stakeholders, the effort fell short as 48.4% of voters answered “YES” on the ballot. A majority (>50%) “YES” vote was needed.

While the question did not receive a majority “YES” vote, community members and stakeholders still agreed that unmet needs remained. With this, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced that a 26-member working group had been convened to begin to look at the potential creation of a Children’s Fund to provide resources to early childhood learning and out-of-school-time programs across Allegheny County.

Allegheny County Children’s Fund Tasks

County Executive Fitgerald charged the working group with the following tasks:

    • review available data to assess the state of children and children’s programming in Allegheny County;
    • gather information from providers, parents, and experts across the county, especially regarding programming demand and supply gaps;
    • gather input from the larger community;
    • review state and federal policies and their impact on children’s programming in the county;
    • design the operations of a possible children’s fund;
    • provide concept budgets for operations within budgets of $5 million, $10 million, and $20 million annually;
    • provide sample allocation models and scenarios; and
    • report findings to the County Executive.

Overview of the Report

The working group found that there are significant gaps in equitable access and recommends that a focus on improving the quality of the system would provide significant benefit to the community. The report proposed a mission and vision for a Children’s Fund and identified four core principles: equity, access, quality, and accountability. With this, the group’s annual goal is to ensure that more children in Allegheny County can access high-quality programming. As a long-term goal, the group hopes for systemic improvements for children in Allegheny County.

“An investment of this level is a commitment that focuses on quality and equity for youth in our community,” said Trisha M. Gadson, Ph.D., Co-Chair of the Children’s Fund Working Group. “It can further support the economic viability of our region.”

During its six months of work, the group sought to engage as many voices as possible to receive input and feedback from the community. This process included six public meetings, two focus groups, an online survey (in English and Spanish), and a meeting-in-a-box kit to receive input from teens. In addition to its final report, the group issued a Public Engagement Summary as a companion piece, outlining input from the public on the creation of a Children’s Fund at the county level.

County Executive Fitzgerald thanked the group for their diligent attention, stating, “This issue is important to me and it is important to this community. Nothing could be more impactful to the residents of Allegheny County than investing in our children and their future. While I’ve just begun to dive into this report and its recommendations, it is clear that it calls for a systemic change to be dedicated to children’s success. I’m grateful to the leaders of our community who gave of their time and talents to provide us with a plan to consider and will be continuing this conversation with them as we consider what options make sense for our county moving forward.”

“The importance of the County Executive’s leadership is vital to the success of our children and our region,” said Michelle Figlar, Co-Chair of the Children’s Fund Working Group. “The addition of local leadership and revenue is essential to the success of early learning and out-of-school programs, and Allegheny County has the opportunity to lead in this effort.”

Read the Full Report

To read the full report, visit the Allegheny County website.

Next Steps

The work of the Allegheny County Children’s Fund Working Group is now complete. Follow what happens next with the Working Group’s recommendations at the County Executive’s website or by contacting your member of the Allegheny County Council.

More Information

For more information, visit the Children’s Fund website. Read the full release.

*Information provided by the Office of County Executive Rich Fitzgerald

News

October 15, 2019

Indicators of High-Quality Inclusion | Webinar

Join the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) on October 15 for their free webinar, “Indicators of High-Quality Inclusion: A Comprehensive Set of Tools.”

About

This webinar is designed to provide an overview of the National Early Childhood Inclusion Indicators Initiative, a joint project by NCPMI and Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center.  The suite of materials—developed for states, local programs and child environments—intended to increase the implementation of high-quality inclusive practices will be presented.

Specific attention will be paid to the early childhood education environment (ECEE) inclusion indicators. Video examples will be used to illustrate the implementation of the ECEE inclusion indicators in a variety of programs as well as implications for local program and state level staff.

Registration

To register and learn more, visit the NCPMI website.

*Information provided by NCPMI