Welcome to the ECE Recap where you can find the
most recent and important information from the
Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL).
Register for Upcoming Live Demonstration of New Streamlined Keystone STARS Designation System

On Oct. 1, 2021, the new process for Keystone STARS pre-designation and designation applications launches in to Pennsylvania’s Professional Development (PD) Registry. This moves more functionality into the PD Registry, streamlining multiple processes into one system and designation for providers. The PD Registry team invites directors, administrators and owners of child care programs in Pennsylvania to a live demonstration of new system features on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. This will be recorded and posted to the Pennsylvania Key website. Get more info.
ELRC Listening Sessions Invite Pennsylvania ECE Provider Participation

Several Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) listening sessions remain available for Pennsylvania early childhood education professionals to provide their input related to the ELRC model. Share your thoughts and experiences on what is working with ELRCs and if there gaps in the current system of ELRCs during listening sessions throughout August. Sign up to participate in the session that best fits your schedule, or a special session for family child care, group child care or school age child care program. Register now to participate in a listening session.
Guidance for Operating Child Care Programs During COVID-19 

OCDEL has received feedback that messaging issued by the office about continued operations during COVID-19 is confusing. Whether it is information in recent ECE Recap distributions or the issuance of Announcement C-21-04, all messaging is consistent. Child care and other early learning settings should follow the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the PA Department of Health (DOH), or local health departments. Currently CDC and DOH guidance both indicate that children, teachers and staff who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a mask while in indoor early learning settings.

The CDC page was created on July 9, 2021, and OCDEL has updated the CDC guidance links in C-21-04. For more info, please see the Announcement C-21-04, Best Practices for Child Care Facilities Operating During the Novel Coronavirus.

As the CDC or DOH issue updated guidance, OCDEL is committed to sharing those update with providers via the weekly Recap or if necessary new announcements. In addition, regional Health & Safety Task Force members remain available to answer questions and help programs implement measures that will continue to protect the health and safety of staff and the children in their care. 
Family Support RFA Update

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) continues to finalize the competitive Request for Application (RFA) for Family Supports programs. ​The RFA, when finalized will be released through www.emarketplace.state.pa.us. Using features in eMarketplace, interested entities can set an alert for the RFA when released.
At this time the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) cannot successfully issue and award new agreements by September 30, 2021. To allow time for the process and any needed transition activities, OCDEL has been approved to implement an extension of current grant agreements through June 30, 2022. The funding for this extension period along with the original three-month extension period of July 1, 2021 to Sept. 30, 2021 will equal SFY 2020/21 award amount(s). Current Family Support grantees should have received a communication with additional instructions. Grantees should contact the RA Account (RA-PWPAHOMEVISITING@pa.gov) and CC their Family Support Consultant with any questions or concerns.
Summer P-EBT

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) helps families cover the cost of breakfasts and lunches their children would have been eligible to receive for free or at reduced price through the National School Lunch Program. The American Rescue Plan authorizes the continued distribution of P-EBT benefits over the summer months to assist households with children in child care settings. Families with children under 6 who are enrolled in SNAP will automatically receive the $375 benefit starting in late Sept./early Oct. 2021. Families who aren't currently enrolled but are eligible for SNAP can enroll up until Aug. 31, 2021, and still receive the benefit. Click here for a flyer to share with your families to help them access this benefit. Get more info.
Share Your Experience as a Child Care Professional During Covid-19 with Yale University School of Medicine

Yale School of Medicine has partnered with the National Workforce Registry Alliance and your state child care registry to make sure your voice as a child care provider is heard by policy leaders making health and economic decisions regarding child care. The survey is voluntary, confidential, and takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Participants will be eligible to win a $500 Visa card. Get more info.
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