November 2021
Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) Region 17 provides a single point-of-contact for Montgomery County families, early learning service providers and community members looking to gain information and access services that support high-quality child care and early learning programs. ELRC Region 17 can help families find the best child care for their children by offering links to many services, including Child Care Works, Pennsylvania’s child care subsidy program.
Through ELRC Region 17, child care professionals can obtain support in building quality outcomes for children by working with quality coaches to achieve Keystone STAR 3 and 4 status, building connections with community partners and supporting children and families in accessing additional services, such as PA Pre-K Counts, Head Start, home-visiting and Early Intervention. Please review our monthly newsletter and email us at with questions!
Wolf Administration Announces Enhancements To Subsidized Child Care Program To Lower Costs For Families And Incentivize Participation By Providers: On 10/18/2021, the Wolf Administration announced changes to Child Care Works (CCW), Pennsylvania’s subsidized child care program, that will decrease costs to families who qualify for subsidized care and add incentives for child care providers to participate in the program. Pennsylvania received more than $1 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support the commonwealth’s child care industry, child care providers, and the children and families that rely on this system. Beginning January 1, 2022, $352 million in Child Care Development Fund federal ARPA funding will also support:
  • Lower maximum copayments for families eligible for CCW: $121.9 million will be used to reduce the maximum family copayment for families participating in subsidized child care through CCW. Current copayments range from 3-11 percent of a family’s overall income. This change will lower the copayment to 3-7 percent, in line with federal recommendations for family obligations for subsidized child care. No family will see an increased copay through the adjustment, and providers will still receive the difference as a part of the CCW base rate.
  • Increased base rates for providers participating in CCW: $213.7 million will support increasing base rates paid to subsidized child care to the 60th percentile compared to the private pay market rate. This change brings Pennsylvania closer to the federally-recommended 75th percentile. Nearly two-thirds of children whose families are eligible for CCW are enrolled in a STAR 1 or 2 rated facility. By investing in base rates to providers participating in CCW, Pennsylvania is investing in quality across the child care industry for the children and families served by this program. In March 2021, the Wolf Administration raised base rates from the 25th percentile to the 40th percentile.
  • Rate incentives for providers that offer child care during non-traditional hours: $16.8 million will support add-on incentives to CCW base rates for child care providers that offer at least two hours of care during non-traditional hours. Prior to the pandemic, the Keystone Command Center for Economic Development and Workforce recommended expanding availability of licensed child care before 6 a.m. and after 6 p.m. – what is normally considered “traditional” child care hours – in order to give flexibility and security for working parents. These rate incentives will support providers that offer care outside of traditional hours, giving parents a safe place for their children and the security necessary to help parents return to work
Regulatory Reinstatement: Effective October, 18, 2021, the following regulatory statutes and regulations are reinstated: 62 P.S. § 911(a)(2) - Visitation and Inspection; 62 P.S. § 1016 - Right to Enter and Inspect; 55 Pa. Code § 20.31 - Annual Inspection. Licensed child care center, group child care, and family child care homes should expect onsite inspections, renewals and complaint investigations to continue.
ELRC Announcement 21 #08 Keystone STARS Designation Extensions & Delayed Rollout of STARS Designation System Message provides information regarding granting one-year extensions to all Keystone STARS Designations effective Oct. 1, 2021 through Sept. 30, 2022 as providers navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant early childhood education (ECE) staffing crisis.
Delayed New Streamlined Keystone STARS Designation System Rollout Message: In response to the increasing demands on early learning programs across the commonwealth due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and pandemic conditions, the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is delaying Keystone STARS designations for one year and the go-live date for the new streamlined Keystone STARS Designation System in the Professional Development (PD) Registry.

Winter Coats Have Arrived!
ELRC Region 17 has received a variety of winter coats available in various sizes ranging from 2T to adult male small. Please contact Raquel or Diahann at (610) 278-3707.
Reporting Provider Changes
For changes to service schedules (such as open days, closed days) due to COVID, staffing shortages, inclement weather, or any other reason, providers must notify Terry McLaughlin at (610) 278-3261 or Child care programs in Montgomery County are required to report cases of COVID-19 to all three agencies listed below:
1. Montgomery County Office of Public Health at (610) 278-6211 or
2. DHS Certification Representative
3. ELRC Region 17, Terry McLaughlin at (610) 278-3261 or
  • Include the date of closure and date of re-open
  • Whether the whole program is closed or a classroom is closed
  • If classroom closure, include a list of CCW children affected
  • Forward email response from DHS verifying notification of closure
Child care providers will mark COVID-19 related absences as "CA" (COVID absence) to distinguish it from a non-COVID related absence on a paper invoice. For online invoices, providers should include an Enrollment Comment under each child who had COVID absences, stating the dates of the COVID related absences, to distinguish from non-COVID related absences.
Upcoming ELRC Region 17 Events
Early Learning Resource Center Region 17 will host the next meeting of the Health and Safety Regional Task Force on Wednesday, November 10th from 1:00 to 2:30pm. Please follow the link below and register to attend the meeting:
ELRC Region 17 acts as a connection among support systems and between support systems. We have created a Health and Safety Regional Task Force which brings together professionals in a regional, collaborative effort. The Task Force provides coordinated, consistent health and safety related supports to ECE providers. We work together to identify needs, maximize resources, and leverage local and statewide strengths to address needs and improve services.
The Health and Safety Regional Task Force is comprised of ELRC Quality Coaches, Program Quality Assessors, Preschool Program Specialists, EI/EITA Consultants, Certification Representatives, and Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) Consultants. ELRC 17 has created a Task Force informed by an assessment of the needs of providers in the region. The individual expertise and strengths of each task force member guides the work and the allocation of effort. Now more than ever, we need to work together to ensure that health and safety is at the forefront of early childhood education. For information and resources from previous meetings, please visit our website at Thank you for this opportunity to connect with our early learning community and we appreciate your continued support!

Provider Spotlight
We would like to congratulate the following providers who worked hard to increase their Keystone STAR Quality Rating over the past month!
STAR 1 to STAR 2  It Takes a Village Child Care, Norristown
STAR 1 to STAR 2  Jenkintown Day Nursery
STAR 1 to STAR 2  Precious Ones Child Care Center, Jenkintown
STAR 1 to STAR 4  Magic Memories Green Lane
STAR 1 to STAR 4  The Malvern School of Blue Bell
STAR 1 to STAR 4  The Malvern School of West Norriton
Contact your Quality Coach for information about increasing your STAR Rating!
CFDA Numbers for Relief Funds Distributed through ELRC Region 17
2020 CARES Rounds 1 and 2, CFDA 93.575
2020 CARES Round 3, CFDA 21.019
2020 Montco Cares Provider, CFDA 21.019
2021 CRRSAA (Round 4), CFDA 93.575
2021 Pandemic Relief Awards, CFDA 93.575
2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), CFDA 93.575

Attitudes Related To Trauma-Informed Care (ARTIC) Scale
The ARTIC Scale was co-developed by Dr. Courtney Baker of Tulane University and the Traumatic Stress Institute. It has been administered globally to more than 25,000 professionals in human service agencies, school systems, state agencies and more.
Looking for a cost-effective, validated tool to measure trauma-informed care?
Organizations and schools understand that valid data is critical to advancing trauma-informed care (TIC) in their settings and demonstrating success. That’s why the Traumatic Stress Institute co-developed the ARTIC Scale, a psychometrically valid measure of professional and para-professional attitudes toward TIC.
Q&A Session about ARTIC Survey
Recorded on August 18, 2021, Watch this video on YouTube.
Invitation to Participate in ARTIC Survey
The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) invites Administrators or Supervisors who provide supervision to early childhood professionals, working with or supporting children ages 0 through 8 and their families, to participate in the Attitudes Towards Trauma-Informed Care (ARTIC) Survey. The ARTIC Survey is a three-year project that will help guide statewide decision making around workforce development and early childhood mental health resources on trauma-informed care. Link to the survey:

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Stabilization Grant
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Stabilization Grant application is now available to eligible child care providers in the Professional Development (PD) Registry. Eligible providers are encouraged to review these materials thoroughly BEFORE submitting an application. In addition, your ELRC is prepared to help you think about the best use of the funds in your program.
If at any time during the application process you disagree with information that is listed for your location, you should STOP and contact ELRC Region 17. Stop the application process and contact your ELRC immediately if you disagree with any of the following information entered by the system in each provider’s application:
·    The licensed capacity listed in the application under the “Licensing & Affiliations” section as “capacity.” This should be the same number as your CER issued by Certification.
·    The Keystone STAR designation in the application listed under the “STARS Add-on” section.
·    The CCW enrollment counts for March 13, 2020, and/or March 11, 2021, listed under the “Child Care Works Add-on” section.
The application will be available in the PD Registry until January 31, 2022. There is a robust amount of funding, but as with all things, grants are based on the availability of funds. To date, ELRC Region 17 has approved 240 ARPA applications. Programs who have not applied or have questions regarding their ARPA application should reach out to their Quality Coach.

Early Childhood Education Linkage System (ECELS)
The Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (PA AAP) operates the Early Childhood Education Linkage System (ECELS) to improve the quality of early childhood education and school age child care programs. ECELS provides professional development and technical assistance about health and safety in child care, in addition to sharing resources with colleagues in other states and countries. They link quality improvement efforts of government, early childhood educators, health professionals, and other organizations. Visit their website to learn more and view the resources below:
ELRC Information by ECELS
Mental Health Resource List by ECELS

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The 2021-2022 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is now open. LIHEAP helps families living on low incomes pay their heating bills in the form of a cash grant. Households in immediate danger of being without heat can also qualify for crisis grants. The cash grant is a one-time payment sent directly to the utility company/fuel provider to be credited on your bill. These grants range from $500 to $1,500 based on household size, income, and fuel type. Pennsylvanians can apply for LIHEAP, ERAP, and other public assistance programs online at or by phone at (866) 550-4355. On-site County Assistance Office (CAO) services and paper applications are available for clients who cannot access online services or need assistance that cannot be accessed through the COMPASS website, the myCOMPASS PA mobile app, or by calling the Customer Service Center at (877) 395-8930. For helpful tips on keeping warm throughout the winter while saving money on utility costs, visit

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is available to help eligible tenants cover the cost of overdue or upcoming utility and rental payments. Pennsylvanians who are responsible for paying rent or utilities on a residential property, and have one or more people within the household who has experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic that puts them at risk of homelessness or a utility shutoff, could be eligible for up to 18 months of ERAP assistance. More information is available at

National Child Safety and Protection Month
Did you know that November is Child Safety and Protection Month? It was created to raise awareness about the potential dangers that children face each and every day. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Child Injury Report found that an estimated 9.2 million children annually had an initial emergency department visit for an unintentional injury. Furthermore, on average, 12,175 children 0 to 19 years of age die each year in the United States from an unintentional and often preventable injury. Visit to learn more about ways to raise safety awareness in our homes and communities.
Sesame Street in Communities offers resources, strategies, and support for community providers along with free materials, videos, books, and games to help families and caregivers help young children cope with traumatic experiences.

Norristown Public Library
Have you visited your local library recently? If not, take a look at what the Youth Services Department of the Norristown Public Library has planned for the month of November! Please view their calendar of events in English and in Spanish. Contact your local branch to see what fun fall events are available in your area!
The Pennsylvania Key IECMHC Virtual Office Hours
The Pennsylvania Key Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) program is offering a new service: IECMHC Virtual Office Hours. IECMHC Virtual Office Hours is currently being piloted in ELRCs 11-19, with plans underway to make the service more widely available to other ELRCs in the future. IECMH Consultants are available by appointment to provide IECMH Virtual Office Hours consultation is provided via telephone or video conference. IECMHC Virtual Office Hours is a short-term, collaborative, problem-solving conversation to help you find next steps for: Child Social-Emotional Concerns, Child Behavioral or Developmental Concerns, Emotional Well-being of Teachers and Caregivers, and Partnering with Families. See the brochure for additional details.
Other Resources
Early Learning Resource Center Region 17
In partnership with Montgomery County Dept of Health and Human Services
P.O. Box 311, 1430 DeKalb Street
Norristown, PA 19404
Phone: (610) 278-3707
Fax: (610) 278-5161