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January 2022 Edition
Early Childhood Education in Pennsylvania
Bilingual Assistance Offered for ARPA Stabilization Grant Applications
The Pennsylvania Key will host recurring office hours for Spanish speaking early childhood education providers interested in applying for the ARPA Stabilization grant. All types of child care settings–center, group and home-based–are invited to participate in this effort, geared to support Spanish speaking owners, directors and administrators. During the office hours, a bilingual (Spanish/English) representative will be available to translate on the call, as well as a Registry Specialist who can answer questions and provide demonstrations relating to the PA PD Registry and the ARPA Stabilization Grant.

The first series is Assistance with APRA Grant applications in the PD Registry (No registration needed)

In February 2022, monthly office hours will continue to occur in Spanish to help with Career Pathway level processing, financial aid for the CDA, and additional topics that meet the need of the Spanish speaking early childhood professionals in Pennsylvania.
Questions: Please email (English) or (Spanish)
Early Childhood Education Credentials Consultant Request for Applications
Application deadline Jan. 28, 2022
Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) through its partnership with the Pennsylvania Key is seeking to contract with an individual to develop two, system-supported Early Childhood Education Credentials. This work will add two additional, system-supported options for child care staff to Pennsylvania’s Career Pathway-an alternative Level A ECE Competency Credential and an alternative Level B ECE Competency Credential. Interested applicants should submit information no later than Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, 4:00 p.m. Learn more.
January 13 Deadline Approaching for Request for Applications for Children's Trust Fund Grants
The Jan. 13, 2022, deadline for the Solicitation RFA 17-21 for the Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) grants is fast approaching. The goal of the Children's Trust Fund is to promote primary and secondary child abuse and neglect prevention programs in community-based settings in order to prevent abuse and neglect of children in the Commonwealth. Any organization located and operating in Pennsylvania that provides direct services and meets the criteria in this Request for Applications (RFA) is eligible to apply for a CTF grant on eMarketplace
T.E.A.C.H. Scholarships – What’s New in 2022!
STAR 1 & STAR 2 Providers – Additional Scholarships Available
Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development & Early Learning (OCDEL) has generously provided PACCA with additional funds to support approximately 100 more scholarships in this FY. These scholarships, specifically for staff employed in STAR 1 & STAR 2 programs, will provide additional supports including:
  • A $200 completion stipend to scholarship recipients upon successful completion of their first semester,
  • Increased release time reimbursement rates to employers ($15 per hour),
  • Training & technical assistance for employers (see webinar information below), and
  • Enhanced counseling sessions (day and evening) for staff related to the college application/admissions processes and T.E.A.C.H. application (more information & registration links to follow soon). 
This additional funding is available for this fiscal year only – so take advantage of this opportunity! Many colleges have late start Spring semesters in which staff can still enroll!
Visit PACCA’s website for more information and to download an application. If you and/or your staff have questions about the program or how to get started, please contact a T.E.A.C.H. Counselor at The team is here to help with whatever is needed!
Current T.E.A.C.H. Sponsors - Increased Release Time Reimbursement Rates
Through OCDEL’s generous support, PACCA will increase release time reimbursement rates from $10 per hour to $15 per hour for the remainder of FY 2021-2022. This includes most winter, spring & some summer semesters. Current sponsoring employers will submit release time claims as usual and PACCA will adjust the reimbursement amounts when processing claims. Questions? Contact your T.E.A.C.H. Counselor at  
EMPLOYER WEBINAR: How T.E.A.C.H. Scholarships Can Help Increase Your STAR Level
Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, 1:00 – 2:30 PM
At the height of the pandemic, T.E.A.C.H program sponsors experienced over a 95% retention rate of the teachers they were sponsoring in T.E.A.C.H. The T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship program not only provides ECE professionals with access to a debt-free college education, but also allow sponsoring employers to recruit and retain more qualified staff. Click HERE to register.
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® PENNSYLVANIA is supported by the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) of Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services (DHS) and Pennsylvania’s Department of Education (PDE). For more information, visit and
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® PENNSYLVANIA is administered by the Pennsylvania Child Care Association (PACCA). T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® PENNSYLVANIA is a licensed program of Child Care Services Association. 
Collaborating with Early Intervention Staff to Support Children with Disabilities in Classrooms or Programs
Do you collaborate with Early Intervention (EI) staff to support children with disabilities in your early childhood education (ECE) classroom or program? If so, there are two new resources to check out!
Early Intervention Service Delivery: Coaching Across Early Childhood Settings is a self-paced, one-hour online course now available on the PD Registry. It was developed by Early Intervention Technical Assistance (EITA), Pennsylvania Key, and other representatives from the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). It will help you understand what to expect when a child in your program receives Early Intervention services and the important role ECE staff play in supporting children with developmental delays and disabilities who are in their programs. To access the course, you will need an account on the PD Registry If you already have an account, go to Training Event Search on the left menu once logged in. Search by title, then register for the course. Once registered, find the course under MY PD tab on your home page of the PD Registry. Click My PD and scroll down to the course. To the right of the course is a blue box you can click to begin the course. If you need assistance to locate or start the course, email
Principles of Early Intervention for Early Childhood Educators is available on EITA Mobile! This interaction provides why we do what we do for children and families who receive Early Intervention services. It was created specifically for early childhood educators, so you can see what each principle looks like as early childhood education and Early Intervention staff work together for the success of all children. Explore EITA Mobile today for this resource and so many more! Download for free on App Store or Google Play. 
Subscribe Now to Get Early Childhood Education Information You Need to Know
There are several electronic newsletters distributed in partnership with the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to keep you up to date on the latest early childhood education information. Subscribing is quick and easy! Subscribe to as many as you'd like to receive and share with staff, families and community partners.

  • Bright Start, Bright Kids, Bright Future (monthly): Information about and resources to support infant early childhood mental health.
  • Certification Services News (as needed): Important information from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Certification Services for all Pennsylvania certified child care providers.
  • Coaching: Window with a View (monthly): Information, research, articles and perspectives to support engagement and continued development of the coaching mindset. 
  • ECE Recap (weekly): A brief recap of early childhood education information.
  • Kindergarten Here I Come and Kindergarten Here I Am (monthly): Activities and resources for families and early learning professionals with preschool or kindergarten age children.
  • Learning is Everywhere (monthly): Activities and resources for families and professionals with children ages birth to Kindergarten.
  • Let's Talk Quality: PQA Blog (monthly): A blog on Program Quality Assessment (PQA) in Pennsylvania.
  • PA Early Education News & Special Announcements (monthly): An inside look at Pennsylvania's Early Childhood Education system.
  • The Buzz on PD in PA (monthly): Information about professional development opportunities for early childhood education professionals.

Sign up Now for the January Let’s Talk Quality Series
The Program Quality Assessment (PQA) team is excited to continue the exciting opportunity: Let’s Talk Quality Series. The Let’s Talk Quality Series includes three-monthly activities – Let’s Talk Quality Blog, Let’s Talk Quality Webinar, and the newest, Let’s Talk Quality Spotlight. Each month the PQA team will publish a blog article, create a webinar, and offer a spotlight session--all that focus on a monthly topic. The topic for January is Sharing Books with Infants and Toddlers.

Register to join Jan 13, 2021, 1PM or 6PM, for the 1-hour Let’s Talk Quality Webinar:

Register to join Jan. 27, 2021, 1PM or 6PM, for the 1-hour Spotlight session where members of the PQA team will answer your questions and be available for discussion about this month’s topic and other PQA related topics:
Check out the Let's Talk Quality Blog on Jan. 10, 2021, for the blog post related to this month’s topic. While there, check out all the other great blog posts! 
Let’s Chat About Early Language and Literacy
Join the PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and Early Intervention Technical Assistance (EITA) during the winter months for some hot topics around early language and literacy development. These one-hour webinars will be offered for FREE from 1pm to 2pm on the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month running in February and March, 2021. Participants will get access to resources to share with families and use in classrooms and centers.

The topics for the webinars include:
  • Setting the Stage for Phonological Awareness
  • Assistive Technology in Early Language and Literacy Activities
  • Building the Foundation for Comprehension and Vocabulary
  • Promising Practices that Support Dual Language Learners
PQAS credit hours, Infant Toddler hours, and ACT48 hours available for these webinars. Get additional information on topics, credits and registration
Save the Date
Of Interest
Jan. 15 Last Day to Enroll for Pennie
Pennie connects you with financial aid and helps you shop for, compare, and buy health insurance. Nearly everyone qualifies for savings because of the American Rescue Plan! Did you know Pennie has a savings calculator to get a sense of what plan/subsidy for which one might be eligible, a call line to talk to someone about how to access the system and choose an option, and even ways to contact Assistors to help explain the options and Brokers who work for the companies that can help compare plans and make decisions. Take a look at the scenarios to see the impact of the American Rescue Plan can have for Pennie customers like you. Open enrollment for Pennie ends on Jan. 15, 2022.
Apply for the 2022 STEM Ambassador Program
Application deadline: Jan. 21, 2022
The Pennsylvania Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Ambassador opportunity is a strategic way to achieve state STEM/workforce policy goals. Ambassadors advance policy goals through outreach, education, targeted relationships with policymakers and building a coalition of local and regional support. STEM Ambassadors are leaders within their organizations, interested and committed to sharing their experiences and content knowledge with influential stakeholders. They also serve as role models to inspire and encourage youth to pursue opportunities for STEM exploration in both formal and informal learning environments. Read more about the program to get an idea of what being a STEM Ambassador entails. Application deadline is Jan. 21. 2022.
Call for Presenters: Farm to Child Nutrition Summit
Deadline for presentation proposal: Feb. 28, 2022
The Pennsylvania Farm to Child Nutrition Summit will be held June 23, 2022, at the Ag Progress Days site, outside of State College in Centre County. Target audiences for this summit include Child Nutrition Program (CNP) operators, K–12 and early childhood education educators, producers, distributors, and other farm to school/early childhood education stakeholder groups. The purpose of the summit is to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and networking among CNP operators, establish connections between CNP operators and producers, showcase farm to child nutrition best practices, and deliver educational opportunities regarding the environmental, economic, nutritional, and equitable value of growing foods. Get more information. Deadline for submission of a presentation proposal is Feb. 28, 2022.
Child Care Aware of America Launches Future of Quality Child Care Initiative
Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) recently announced it is launching the Future of Quality Child Care Initiative, an in-depth examination of how child care quality can be improved when inequities are removed, parent preferences are affirmed, and all providers are valued equally. CCAoA will publish policy, research and practice recommendations on professional development and learning, resource allocation, provider capacity building, quality rating and improvement, and licensure beginning in the summer of 2022. This work will help policymakers, advocates and providers better understand how to create measures of quality that are equitable and benefit both children and the child care field. Read more.
Research and Reports
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood National Center Releases FY 2020-2021 Annual Report & State Profile Compendium
Education, Equity & Economics: A Season of Change: In this year’s annual program report, learn about the work the National Center and its T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ programs states have done to support the early childhood workforce through recipient stories, data, policy recommendations, special projects, and more. Click here to read the report.
T.E.A.C.H. & WAGE$ State Compendium: The State Compendium provides a snapshot of how T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship and Child Care WAGE$® states have pushed forward and continue to support the early childhood workforce through elevating recipient stories and showcasing the data and outcomes for each partner state. Click here to view the compendium. Check out pages 36 and 37 to view T.E.A.C.H. Pennsylvania’s FY 2020-2021 Results and Voices from the Field.  
Closing the Leadership Gap: 2021 Status Update on Early Childhood Program Leadership in the United States
Researchers at the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership released a brief that summarizes state policies on program leadership. Closing the Leadership Gap: 2021 Status Update on Early Childhood Program Leadership in the United States is a follow-up to a 2017 report on the status of early childhood leadership in all 59 and Washington, D.C.
Researchers examined five policy levers that “identify the minimal qualifications for administrators in child care licensing standards, state administrator credentials, principal licensure, quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS), and state-funded Pre-K programs.”
The 2021 examination found little change in the national picture since 2017, but reported benchmarks within state policy rubrics revealed small changes in requirements “suggesting subtle movement toward increased professional qualifications and supports for early childhood program leaders.”

In 2017, no state scored higher than six (out of ten) on their state-specific, overall policy levers rubric. Three states—California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania—achieved the highest overall policy levers score (range of 5-7). In 2021, only two states—Illinois and Pennsylvania—scored between five and seven on their overall policy levers rubric. Read the report.
Addressing Equity in Out-of-School Time
The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic coincide with increased attention to issues of racial injustice. Federal support, including funding, is available to rebuild early childhood and Out-of-School time (OST) care, to address inequities that have historically diminished opportunities for children and families.

This research brief, Addressing Equity in Out-of-School Time, is the fifth in a periodic series published by the National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment (NCASE) to build awareness of research and promising practices in the field of school-age child care. With multiple resources and highlighting the work of state and Tribal programs, the brief supports building and sustaining equitable systems and practices for OST.
Pre-Pandemic Early Childhood Enrollment Expanded as More Enrolled in Public Preschool
U.S. Census Bureau analysis of data from the American Community Survey (ACS) from 2005 to 2019 shows the percentage of children ages 3 and 4 enrolled in preschool overall went up during that period. This period of analysis ended before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. so does not reflect its impact on preschool enrollment. The proportion of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool increased from 2005 to 2008 by 3.4 percentage points to 47.4% but after that declined until 2013.

While other factors may have been at play, the global recession most likely contributed to this downward trend as many parents were out of work and may have been unable to afford preschool. Read more.
Children’s Access to Healthcare Head Start Benchmark and Trends Report
Poverty too often goes hand-in-hand with poor health and limited access to necessary medical services—likewise, children's access to healthcare varies enormously across the country. National Head Start Association’s Health Benchmark and Trends Report examines the relationship between poverty, race, and geography, revealing the impact of common barriers.

The report is a five-year follow-up NHSA’s first nationwide survey focused on understanding access to and support of health services for children and families. The report examines the factors blocking Head Start children's access to healthcare. In addition to a special look at prenatal to three health, central findings are organized into five categories: providers, screenings, mental health care, dental care, and social determinants of health.
Family Friendly Resources for the 2022 Pennsylvania Farm Show
The 106th Pennsylvania Farm Show will be held Saturday, Jan. 8 through Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA.
PA's Promise for Children has family-friendly early learning activities and resources relating to the Farm Show that families and early childhood education professionals can use at the Farm Show, in the community, or in the home or early learning setting to help children learn.
Identifying Gluten Free Foods in the Child Care Setting
As more kids are experiencing gluten allergies, identifying foods without gluten is increasingly important. This educational resource from General Mills will help early childhood education professionals and families learn about gluten and teach how to check ingredient labels to identify gluten free foods.
Family Support News Brief
The November/December 2021 Family Support News Brief from the Family Support at Center for Schools and Communities contains information and resources relating to gratitude, virtual events, webinars and more. Click here to read.
Winter and Holiday Safety Tips for Child Care Providers
This time of year can create additional dangers for children. This blog post from Child Care Aware of America highlights steps child care providers and families can take to keep children safe from winter hazards such as extreme cold, snow, ice and holiday decorations.
Three SEL Practices Early Childhood Educators Can Use Every Day
Providing young learners with a strong foundation can set them up for success for many years to come. Relationship skills, social awareness, and self-management are essential social and emotional learning (SEL) tools to add to our learners’ tool kit to help them navigate all their new experiences in life and in learning. Learn more.
Resources from Camille Catlett
The December resources from Camille Catlett are now available. The December edition of Baby Talk includes Recommendations for Providing Strengths-Based Services to Black Families and Children, What Does Recent Research Say About a Good Bedtime Routine for Children and more. The December edition of Natural Resources shares resources for selecting, adapting and using toys.
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