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August 2022 Edition
Early Childhood Education in Pennsylvania
Did You Receive Your Letter to Participate in the 2022 Child Care Market Rate Survey?
Participation deadline Oct. 11, 2022
Check your mailbox for the letter from the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to participate in the 2022 Child Care Market Rate Survey!

All licensed child care facilities are invited to share information about tuition rates and the true cost of care. Results will allow OCDEL to evaluate future child care related programming and policy decisions, ​including Child Care Works rate setting. Completion of the survey by Pennsylvania child care providers is crucial in this process.

This survey has been mailed to all licensed child care facilities in Pennsylvania and may be completed online OR on paper. The survey was printed on light purple/ lilac paper and the envelope looks like this. Providers should complete the survey for the child care facility. If multiple facilities are owned by a single entity, complete a separate survey for each. Participation is voluntary, and participants may stop at any time.

If an after school program is closed for the summer, or if a certified child care provider didn't receive their letter for the Market Rate Survey, they can still participate! Just email the facility name(s) and MPI to the Institute of State and Regional Affairs at or leave a toll-free voicemail with the info at (866) 982-6433. They will then receive a weblink to access 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, Child Care Works 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.

At the end of the survey, a provider can enter the optional drawing for one of 100 $100 Amazon e-gift cards. Triple chances to win by returning the survey by September 1, 2022!

Surveys will be collected until October 11, 2022. For those with questions about the 2022 Child Care Market Rate Survey or who need help submitting the survey, should contact the Institute of State and Regional Affairs at or leave a toll-free voicemail at (866) 982-6433.
PACCA Webinar: 2022 Market Rate Survey and YOU
Every two years, the federal government requires that states conduct a Market Rate Survey of child care. Information from the Market Rate Survey provides OCDEL with important data to compare private pay prices with the Child Care Works reimbursements (base rates). 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.
The webinar, 2022 Market Rate Survey and YOU, hosted by the Pennsylvania Child Care Association (PACCA), will take place on Aug. 17, 2022, at 11:00 am, and 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. Joining the webinar will be the team from Penn State Harrisburg, Institute of State and Regional Affairs who are coordinating the survey collection and evaluation. They will also share the new complementary study they are working on to assess the Cost of Care.
Wolf Administration Unveils Strategic Plan To Recruit And Retain Educators In Pennsylvania
On July 18, 2022, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) released The Foundation of Our Economy: Pennsylvania Educator Workforce Strategy, 2022-2025, PDE’s strategic plan to recruit and retain more educators across the commonwealth. The plan includes addressing the need for early childhood educators.

The strategy was developed after conducting extensive feedback sessions with vested partners across Pennsylvania and contains 50 steps that the Pennsylvania Department of Education and its partners will use to address the commonwealth’s educator shortage.

The Foundation of Our Economy sets forth ambitious goals related to the following five educator workforce focus areas:
  1. Meeting the educator staffing needs of rural, suburban, and urban areas;
  2. Building a diverse workforce representative of the students we serve;
  3. Operating a rigorous, streamlined, and customer service-oriented certification process;
  4. Ensuring high-quality preparation experiences for aspiring educators; and
  5. Ensuring educator access to high-quality and relevant professional growth and leadership development opportunities.

In addition, there is the availability of three grant programs totaling $5 million to support Pennsylvania’s educator workforce and increase the number and diversity of teachers and school leaders. Through the grant initiative, educator-preparation programs will be invited to apply for grants to design and implement innovative solutions to strengthen and diversify the teacher and school leader pipelines. Priority will be given to educator preparation programs that partner with local education agencies (LEAs), and other organizations relevant to the educator workforce. Application deadline is Aug. 22, 2022. Learn more about the grant.
Changes to the Self-Paced Environment Rating Scale (ERS) Online Courses
As of July 1, 2022, Pennsylvania moved away from offering PD Registry access to the self-paced Environment Rating Scale (ERS) online courses (ITERS-R, ECERS-R, ECERS-3, SACERS-U, FCCERS-R) and will offer other self-paced online options. Programs can still access ERS professional development (PD) offered by the Program Quality Assessment team in both virtual and in person formats. The virtual sessions can be accessed from any location. Planning for ERS PD for the 2022-23 fiscal year is underway. Programs can review a calendar of planned ERS sessions on the Pennsylvania Key website under the Statewide PQA Professional Development Calendar section.

Anyone who purchased an ERS Online course prior to June 30, 2022, continued to have access to the course through July 31. Those who were unable to complete the course by July 31, 2022, should email the PD Registry at with their name, email, and the course name and event ID to receive a refund.

Self-paced ERS professional development is still being offered by the Environment Rating Scale Institute. Programs can register and attend these sessions via the Institute’s website
Healthy Minds App Access for All Early Childhood Professionals!
The Office of Child Development and Early Learning in coordination with the Pennsylvania Key are offering 2-years of free access to the Healthy Minds@Work app to all early childhood professionals! The Healthy Minds app teaches simple skills to develop personal well-being that crosses over all aspects of your life, creating a more focused, compassionate culture at work and beyond.

The research behind the program shows that mindfulness training can significantly impact many parts of our lives:
  • Better health
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Increased focus
  • Better emotion regulation

In addition, as a support to this app, regional Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs) are offering Communities of Practice (CoP) where you can come together and practice some strategies for focus and calm, share your successes and challenges and connect with others who are working to improve their well-being.

To access the free app and for more information, visit the Healthy Minds page on the Pennsylvania Key website and follow the steps provided. To participate in your Regional ELRC CoP, please reach out to your ELRC for more information.
Save the Date
Of Interest
Become A Helper: End of the Public Health Emergency
The Department of Human Services is preparing for the eventual end of the Public Health Emergency. Under the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration, Pennsylvania has continued Medical Assistance (MA) coverage for most people unless they moved out-of-state, passed away, or asked to end their MA. When the federal PHE ends, the Department of Human Services (DHS) must determine if people are still eligible for MA. MA recipients will have to complete a renewal to maintain their MA coverage.
DHS and partners at Pennie® (Pennsylvania's official health insurance marketplace) are working hard to make sure Pennsylvanians can get coverage either through MA, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or affordable coverage available through
DHS is seeking trusted partners to assist in this PHE unwinding process through your means of connection to individuals that will need to renew MA benefits. Recently, DHS launched an email newsletter called the DHS Helper Portal. DHS will use this to send regular communications on the status of the PHE and how to help individuals to stay covered after the requirement to keep MA open ends. Please share this link with your listservs and partners to ensure the network of DHS helpers is vast, educated, engaged, and consistent in their efforts to keep Pennsylvania covered.
Sign up to become a helper today at Helpers (! Fill out the simple online form at Helpers ( The form will generate an email to the email address given. Confirm the address by walking through the prompts in the email. Congratulations! You are a helper!
Invite Families to Join the Family Leadership Learning Community
Share this opportunity with families you serve!

Do your families have suggestions about child care, health and family support services for children and their families? Do you see themselves as an advocate for their children and family? Do they feel called to action to strengthen their community or participate in statewide policy reforms?
Invite them to join the Family Leadership Learning Community to be held September 2022 through March 2023. Meeting times to be selected based on participant availability. Share this flyer with families.
Apply to participate by August 5, 2022, at this link. Any parent with a very young child in Pennsylvania is invited to participate, but family members who are not also family support professionals are needed.
The Family Leadership Learning Community will meet in an online format. Members will be asked to participate in an orientation session and six topic sessions. Participants will be asked to view videos or read short articles and share ideas with each other outside of the meetings.
Participants will receive a stipend payment for participation and may receive assistance with technology necessary for active involvement.

Questions? Contact Karen Shanoski, or 717-763-1661 x 139.
No-Cost Early Literacy Materials for Pennsylvania Early Learning Programs from Office of Commonwealth Libraries
The Office of Commonwealth Libraries has developed a series of print resources to share early literacy tips with families and caregivers of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. These brochures are available at no cost to Pennsylvania early learning programs. The materials include:

  • Healthy Bodies Brochure: A great selection of books that promote healthy eating or gives adults the opportunity to have a conversation about healthy choices. It also includes books that get kids up stretching and moving; habits that get children off to a great start. Order in increments of 50, maximum order is 500. 
  • Cruise Into Kindergarten Activity Cards (Pack). Packed in 25 sets of all 16 cards. These cards provide simple activities on the card's topic for adults and preschoolers to do together, including rhyme suggestions. Topics include STEAM and other topics addressed in PA Standards for an Early Childhood. Order in increments of 25, maximum order is 250. 
  • 101 Great Picture Books for Preschoolers. Books everyone should own and promote! This list includes a wide variety of old and new favorites, award winners, fiction and non-fiction books that every preschooler will enjoy when a caring adult reads it aloud. It also serves as an introduction to great authors and illustrators. Order in increments of 50, maximum order is 500. 
  • Cruise Into Kindergarten (English). This brochure provides tips on early learning in areas such as literacy, math, science, the arts and community from a child's point of view. One side is a gameboard and markers for adults to play a fun game that includes experiences geared to activities that the child is proud to show off and/or needs to learn. Order in increments of 50, maximum order is 500. 
  • Cruise Into Kindergarten (Spanish). This brochure provides tips on early learning in areas such as literacy, math, science, the arts and community from a child's point of view. One side is a gameboard and markers for adults to play a fun game that includes experiences geared to activities that the child is proud to show off and/or needs to learn. Order in increments of 50, maximum order is 500. 
  • Early Literacy Brochure Ages 0-2. This brochure helps adults start the very youngest on a road to reading with tips and book suggestions for babies and young toddlers. Order in increments of 50, maximum order is 500. 
  • Early Literacy Brochure Ages 2-3. Tips for activities, stories and more are included in this brochure that also lets families know that sitting still is not on a toddler's list of things to do. Order in increments of 50, maximum order is 500. 
  • Early Literacy Brochure Ages 4-5. Books and literacy tips that give adults more ideas for longer, more involved stories and ideas for getting kids ready to learn. Order in increments of 50, maximum order is 500.

Click here to place an order. This project was made possible with Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Office of Commonwealth Libraries.
988 Offers New, Easier Way for Pennsylvanians to Connect to Mental, Behavioral Health Crisis Services
Pennsylvanians now have a new, easier way to connect to behavioral or mental health crisis services. Dialing 988 will connect callers directly to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. People who contact 988 via phone, text, or chat will be directly connected to trained counselors located at 13 Pennsylvania crisis call centers who can immediately provide phone-based support and connections to local resources, if necessary. Between 80-90 percent of calls are resolved through conversations with call center staff, without further intervention. By directing cases to 988 when a mental or behavioral health crisis isn’t life threatening, the response provided by public services, such as law enforcement and EMS, can be reserved for situations when there is a risk to public safety. Learn more.
Recognizing the Impact of Race, Racism, and Inequity on Mental Health
Mental health conditions can impact all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, ability, class, sexual orientation, or other social identities. However, systemic racism, implicit and explicit bias, and other circumstances that make individuals vulnerable can also make access to mental health treatment much more difficult. A recent release from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, shares how taking on the challenges of mental health takes all of us, what is Mental Health Equity, available 
Mental Health and Emotional Support, and more.
USDA Announces Increased Funding for School Meals, Child and Adult Care Meals
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced an increase in funding to help schools and child care providers continue to serve kids healthy meals and provide financial relief for schools and child care providers. This increase includes both a required annual adjustment in reimbursement rates to reflect the cost of food and an extra temporary per-meal boost in reimbursements from the recent Keep Kids Fed Act. 

The Keep Kids Fed Act passed the Senate on June 23, 2022, following an amendment, and the amended bill was passed again by the House on June 24, 2022, and was signed into law on June 25, 2022. The Keep Kids Fed Act extends the US Department of Agriculture’s authority to issue nationwide waivers for Summer 2022 operations (through September 2022). It increases the meal reimbursement rates for School Year 2022-2023, regardless of fee category or eligibility determination, by an additional 10 cents for each meal served through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), including afterschool meals. It also allows Tier II family day care homes participating in the CACFP to qualify for the higher Tier I reimbursement rates for July 2022 through June 2023.

This notice announces the annual adjustments to the national average payment rates for meals and snacks served in child care centers, outside-school-hours care centers, at-risk afterschool care centers, and adult day care centers; the food service payment rates for meals and snacks served in day care homes; and the administrative reimbursement rates for sponsoring organizations of day care homes, to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index.  The adjustments contained in this notice are made on an annual basis each July, as required by the laws and regulations governing the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
U.S. Department of Education Announces Engage Every Student Initiative to Ensure Every Student Has Access to High-Quality Learning
Engage Every Student is a bold new call to action to provide high-quality out-of-school time learning opportunities for every child who wants to participate. Through the American Rescue Plan, school districts, cities, and states have funding and an unprecedented opportunity to partner with high-quality expanded learning programs to support students’ well-being and academic growth.

The U.S. Department of Education has partnered with the AfterSchool Alliance, AASA, the School Superintendents Association, National League of Cities, National Summer Learning Association, and the National Comprehensive Center to provide schools and communities the connections and assistance they may need to expand access to afterschool and summer learning programs. Learn more.
Research and Reports
Early Education and Adult Health: Age 37 Impacts and Economic Benefits of the Child-Parent Center Preschool Program
Three decades out, participants in the high-quality Chicago Child-Parent Center preschool program experienced positive long-term health impacts, including a lower incidence of diabetes and lower body mass index. The study, Early Education and Adult Health: Age 37 Impacts and Economic Benefits of the Child-Parent Center Preschool Program, followed 1,539 participants born in 1979 and 1980 and surveyed most recently at ages 35 to 37. Researchers calculated a benefit of $1.35 to $3.66 per dollar invested, demonstrating that the health benefits offset the program cost. This does not account for prior research showing the program’s economic benefits on crime reduction and educational benefits.
New Analysis on the Mental Health of Latino Adults Living with Children During the Pandemic
New research from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families shows that 37 percent of lower-income Latino adults (defined here as those whose incomes are less than 200% of the federal poverty line) living with children reported either frequent anxiety or depressive symptoms during Fall 2021 and Winter 2022—rates that are statistically higher than those among their higher-income peers. Additionally, the authors found that, regardless of income status, most Latino adults with either frequent anxiety or depressive symptoms did not report using mental health care. 
Summer Learning Program Quality Intervention: Implications for Policy and Practice
Given the short timeframe for summer programs, can staff learn practices and ways of relating to young people that not only provide fun and enriching experiences, but also help young people make academic gains? How well do these practices need to be implemented to make a meaningful difference? How can summer programs implement a process to improve staff practices? The Summer Learning Program Quality Intervention (SLPQI) from the Forum for Youth Investment was designed to answer these questions. The best part? It found measurable academic gains for young people and improvements in staff practice.
Final Destinations of the Summer Learning and Literacy Road Trip
What is are final destinations on the Summer Learning and Literacy Road Trip? During week nine, we're virtually headed to the Lititz Public Library in Lititz, PA, and the French Creek State Park in Berks and Chester Counties! 

My Summer Learning and Literacy Road Trip Travel Journal is a great way to help children explore books and fun activities. Discover something new with children weekly, then help them complete their Travel Journal. Resources are available in English and Spanish.

There's still lots of time to get caught up on other destinations! Just use the Road Map and My Summer Learning and Literacy Road Trip Travel Journal to share with children in your care and their families. 

Did your classroom complete the Summer Learning and Literacy Road Trip? Share your story about your experience! Send your story and pics (if you'd like to include) to Mary at, or tag PA's Promise for Children on social media!
Aligning Farm to Early Care and Education with Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) Fact Sheet 
Integrating farm to early care and education (ECE) into Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) standards can help expand the reach of and reduce barriers to farm to ECE programming. Farm to ECE strategies align with a variety of QRIS domains, such as professional development, family engagement and community partnerships, and learning environment. National Farm to School Network's new fact sheet explores strategies states can take to integrate farm to ECE into their QRIS, including case studies and sample language. Find the fact sheet here
Park Scores Resource to Support Outdoor Space Activities
The Trust for Public Land - Park Serve has created Park Scores for major metropolitan areas, which allow residents to Explore your community; Learn where existing parks are located and; Gain insight on park equity -- who does and does not live within a 10-minute walk of a park? This resource can be used to help families and early childhood educators locate outdoor spaces to encourage early learning and physical activity.
Healthy Habits for Happy Smiles: How Drinking Water Impacts Dental Health
Share these Healthy Habits for Happy Smiles handouts from the Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center to help families understand why drinking water is important for good health, including good oral health, and to give them tips on how to encourage their child to drink more water. Share the resources Choosing Healthy Drinks for Your Young Child and Encouraging Your Child to Drink Water.
Code of Ethics for Out-of-School Time Professionals
The National AfterSchool Association’s Code of Ethics for Out-of-School Time Professionals serves to raise awareness of OST professional personal commitments to ethical conduct as we carry out our responsibilities. Released in 2009 and recently reviewed with an equity lens and revised in 2022, the principles are a framework for the conduct of OST professionals and provide guidance when faced with ethical dilemmas.
Resources from Camille Catlett
The July resources from Camille Catlett are now available. The July 2022 edition of Baby Talk shares resources for infant and early childhood mental health, how much screen time is too much, and more. The July 2022 edition of Natural Resources shares information on connecting play to content learning, supporting language acquisition and peer interaction through guided play in a multilingual classroom, and more. 
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