April 2018 edition
An inside look at Pennsylvania's early education system.
What's New for April
Congratulations to Teresa Miller who was recently confirmed by Governor Wolf as Secretary of the PA Department of Human Services (DHS). In her capacity as Acting Secretary, Secretary Miller demonstrated her commitment to the families and children of Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania looks forward to her future leadership as DHS Secretary.
April kicks off Month of the Young Child (MOYC), a time to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and recognizes the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. Early learning partners throughout the state may have events occurring throughout April in celebration. Check out the tips from our friends at PA's Promise for Children on ways you can celebrate MOYC.
April also kicks off PA One Book, Every Young Child, a program that highlights the importance of early literacy development in preschools and the significance of reading early and often to children, as well as engaging them in conversation and other activities around books. Libraries and early learning programs throughout Pennsylvania take this month to share the 2018 selection, My Cousin Momo by Zach Ohora. Read what Zach has to say about early literacy , then find out more the PA One Book by visiting the PA One Book website or Facebook .
Early Education in Pennsylvania
Teresa Miller Confirmed as Secretary of PA Department of Human Services
Congratulations to Teresa Miller on her recent confirmation as Secretary for DHS.
Secretary Miller was nominated by Governor Tom Wolf to lead the department in May 2017. She served as acting secretary before her confirmation on March 20.
Previously, as Pennsylvania's Insurance Commissioner, Secretary Miller worked on a range of issues, including fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic and helping older adults. Before coming to Pennsylvania, Secretary Miller held positions with the federal government's Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, and worked in various capacities for the state of Oregon.
Secretary Miller was confirmed along with three other female cabinet members: Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jennifer Smith, and Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman. Read the press release.
Time Remains to Submit Shared Services Pilot RFP
RFP Deadline April 13
There is still time to submit a proposal for the Shared Services Pilot by April 13, 5pm.
The Tuscarora Intermediate Unit (TIU), on behalf of the PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new Shared Services Pilot. With funding from The Heinz Endowments, the goal of the initiative is to build both pedagogical and business capacity in early childhood programs so programs can provide quality staff support.
The project includes three key components:
  1. identification of further policy and structural opportunities for OCDEL to operationalize the shared services model within the framework of the new Keystone STARS and Early Learning Resource Center structure;
  2. identification, planning, and implementation of sustainable shared services practice at the local level; and,
  3. evaluation of the pilot phase of the shared service project to ensure the developed policy recommendations fully support scaling of statewide shared service implementation.
This RFP is designed to identify shared services practice at the local level, and to support planning around and implementation of these practices. Proposals are due on April 13, 2018 at 5 pm.
For more information on the shared services RFP process, please read the documents .
Deadline Extended for PA Pre-K Counts Letter of Intent
Required Letter of Intent due April 6
Due to bidders' conferences being rescheduled, the deadline for the Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Letter of Intent has been extended to April 6, 2018.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is seeking applicants for PA Pre-K Counts. PA Pre-K Counts provides children with the opportunity to experience a high-quality pre-kindergarten program. The program standards ensure a high return on the investment in the preparation of young children for school and will help to close the achievement gap. Early education through PA Pre-K Counts can open the doors of opportunity for every child to do well in school, in the workforce, and in life.
The PA Pre-K Counts grant program operates on a five-year cycle of continuation. FY 2017-18 represented the end of a five-year cycle, therefore; PDE is issuing this full, competitive rebid Request for Application (RFA) to evaluate equitable distribution of funding. All FY 2017-18 Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grantees wishing to serve children in FY 2018-19 MUST submit an application as part of this competitive rebid process. In addition, applications from those seeking to become new PA Pre-K Counts grantees will be reviewed. Programs interested in applying must submit a fully completed Letter of Intent by 3 pm on April 6, 2018.
What's Going on with ELRCs?
In the March edition of the PA Early Education News (EEN) , OCDEL provided information on the Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs). There is a lot of interest from child care providers and other early learning stakeholders on the implementation of this project. 
Today, OCDEL is excited to unveil the new ELRC logo. When you see the logo above, you can immediately associate it with your ELRC.  
OCDEL is eagerly awaiting final approval to announce the selected agencies in this new initiative. Once approved, a special edition of the PA Early Ed News will be released to provide the early learning community with the details.
Until that time, be assured that OCDEL is working daily on activities to support a successful transition. Each child care provider will receive a direct mailing from OCDEL with their new ERLC contact information and other information to better understand the changes.  
All families of enrolled children participating in Child Care Works (CCW) will also receive a direct communication from OCDEL with information they will need for CCW and more. Information will also be provided to community partners such as WIC offices, libraries, and County Assistance Offices. 
Please continue to look for further updates in our next edition of PA Early Ed News.

Keystone STARS Document Uploader Coming Soon
Many providers across the commonwealth asked for a tool that allows documents to be uploaded into a centralized system for Keystone STARS Quality Coaches and Designators to review. The Keystone STARS SMART Document Uploader was created in response to that request. The Keystone STARS SMART Document Uploader is a web-based tool that is provider-facing and communicates with the SMART Database software that STARS Quality Coaches and Designators use when working with early learning programs.
The goals of the Keystone STARS SMART Document Uploader are as follows:
  1. Reduces administrative burden for providers and coaches/designators
  2. Streamlines STARS designations
  3. Supports providers in the ELRC transition
  4. Supports Shared Services Alliances/Networks
  5. Supports stability in programs through efficient document retention
  6. Allows for state-wide evaluation of provider submitted sources of evidence
The initial testing phase of the Keystone STARS SMART Document Uploader ended last week with positive feedback from Regional Key Staff and providers. Volunteer providers included both those with well-developed and less-developed technology skills. In addition, the testing period provided insight into areas for improvement. Currently, testing is underway to investigate how the Document Uploader is communicating electronically with the SMART Database.  
More information on this will be available in upcoming issues.
Child Care and Early Learning Provider Self-Service
Provider Self-Service (PSS) is an online program that is used to help manage everyday work and establish what a customer sees about child care providers or early learning providers such as Head Start and PA Pre-K Counts. It can help:
  • View Pennsylvania child care laws and regulations
  • Manage child care certifications (new applications and renewals)
  • View and update a profile
  • View and print child care forms and information
  • Manage and submit attendance invoices online (regulated child care and providers only)
The PSS provides tools to save time, money, and paper. For more information, visit the Provider Self-Service website or call 1-877-491-3818.
New Course Series Available on Inclusive Practices
To help programs implement the OCDEL Inclusion and Suspension/Expulsion Announcements, OCDEL created a new course series on collaboration and inclusion.  Collaborating for Inclusive Practice in Early Childhood  is a series of five online courses that provide early care and education professionals with information, insights, and opportunities for practice related to inclusive practices across early childhood classroom settings. The courses are currently being piloted and will be available to early care and education programs across Pennsylvania on a monthly basis beginning in the fall of 2018.
Please watch this presentation to learn more about this exciting new series! You'll find it at the bottom of the   Inclusion Topic of Interest page  on the EITA Online Learning Portal.
The Bureau of Certification/OCDEL Hollidaysburg Office is Moving!
Effective Tuesday, April 9, 2018, the new contact information for the "Hollidaysburg/Johnstown" office will be as follows:

  • Address: OCDEL, 727 Goucher St, Johnstown, PA 15905
  • Main Phone Line: (814) 254-0183
  • Fax Line: (814) 254-0198
Save the Dates
Pennsylvania's PD Registry: Things To Know and Do
Official Transcripts and the PD Registry
Do you have an official transcript and want to add the information to your account in the PD Registry? When you are completing your profile, you do not need to mail in official education transcripts. If you have a copy of your transcript, you may upload it to your profile.

It is no longer necessary to send documents by mail or email for PD Registry user profile. Simply upload any documents to your profile!
Cancel or Transfer a Registration for a Professional Development Session
Early learning professionals, if you need to cancel a registration for a Professional Development session or transfer to a different session, please contact the training provider in the contact information section of the event description.
Need Assistance?
The Registry team wants you to be supported as you use the PD Registry. There are several ways to receive assistance with the new PD Registry.

  1. Visit the PA Key website for a variety of tip sheets from basic information on creating an account to more in-depth topics such as submitting a course for Instructors.
  2. Email [email protected] and a PD team member will get back to you as soon as possible.
  3. Call 1-800-284-6031 and select extension 1 to connect with one of the PD team members.
  4. Like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with the latest PD Registry news.
The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. When contacting the PD Registry team, please have your name, contact information (including email), organization (employer) information, and your Registry ID number. If you do not have this information, one of the PD Registry team members can help you find it.
Of Interest
LAEYC Invites Submission of Proposals to Present at Fall Conference
Submission Deadline April 6
The Lancaster Chapter of PennAEYC invites submission of proposals to present at the annual fall conference to be held September 29, 2018 in Lancaster, PA. Presenters should consider a topic that addresses current issues, trends and initiatives, and/or research based effective practices in early childhood education. Attendees represent a wide array of early childhood teachers, school age providers, administrators, early intervention specialists, Head Start teachers, family and group providers, child advocates, private & public school teachers, parents, and early childhood higher education faculty. Click here for more information.
PHSA Announces New Associate Executive Director
The Pennsylvania Head Start Association announced the hiring of Sara Gray-Bradley as Associate Executive Director. Sara has been an early childhood teacher, center director, and for the last seven years, served as the Director of Education Initiatives for the United Way in York County. Sara will serve as a lead for PHSA state wide advocacy and help provide the leadership to achieve the agency's mission, vision, and values. For more information, visit the PHSA website .
The Food Trust Seeks ECE Representation for Advisory Board
The Food Trust is seeking members for a newly forming Advisory Board for its statewide Ready Set Grow Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) Initiative. The Advisory Board will play a lead role in shaping regional strategies to advance statewide support for Farm to ECE. The appointed members for the Advisory Board will serve for 6 months, beginning late May or early June 2018. The Board members will represent a wide variety Farm to ECE stakeholders, including but not limited to childcare providers, ECE & preschool teachers, Head Start staff, advocates (nutrition and/or early childhood), food-service workers, parents/family members of young children and farmers. The Food Trust seeks diverse membership including but not limited to race and ethnicity, gender, age, language, socioeconomic status, disability, and geographic location. Advisory Board members will be offered a stipend of $500 and reimbursed for travel to an in-person meeting.

Please use this link for nominations. The open call for nominations for the Advisory Board runs until April 20, 2018. You may send in your self-nomination for the Advisory Board, or nominate someone who you think is suitable for this role. For more information on the Advisory Board nominations please contact Jamese Kwele at 215-575-0555 x7121 or [email protected] .  
Spring into Learning: Whole Child Collaborative Conference
On Friday, April 27, 2018, Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC) invites early learning professionals to participate in their Whole Child Collaborative Conference at the International House in Philadelphia. Registration and a light breakfast begins at 8:30 am.


  • Registration fee is $35 per person.
  • Receive 5 PQAS hours.
  • To register, contact Ashley Haneiko at [email protected] or call (215) 893-0130, ext. 237.
Latest on Social Media
Check out these recent highlights featured on social media.


Research and Reports
Study Shows Early Childhood Self-Control Reflected in Early Adult Functioning
A new study, Early Social-Emotional Functioning and Public Health: The Relationship Between Kindergarten Social Competence and Future Wellness, published in the American Journal of Public Health found there are statistically significant associations between measured social-emotional skills in kindergarten and key young adult outcomes across multiple domains of education, employment, criminal activity, substance use, and mental health. The results support previous research that examined long-term prediction from noncognitive skills who found that self-control across early childhood was a significant predictor of outcomes in multiple domains of early adult functioning.

Data came from the Fast Track study of low–socioeconomic status neighborhoods in 3 cities and 1 rural setting. Researchers examined whether kindergarten teachers' ratings of children’s prosocial skills, an indicator of noncognitive ability at school entry, predict key adolescent and adult outcomes. The goal was to determine unique associations over and above other important child, family, and contextual characteristics.

A kindergarten measure of social-emotional skills may be useful for assessing whether children are at risk for deficits in noncognitive skills later in life and, thus, help identify those in need of early intervention. These results demonstrate the relevance of noncognitive skills in development for personal and public health outcomes.
Pennsylvania's accomplishments around Keystone STARS were recently highlighted in the BUILD Initiative and the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes release of A Learning Table to Improve State Early Childhood Teaching and Learning Policy: Reflections and Recommendations After Three Years of Implementation. The Learning Table provided support to state leaders in their efforts to strengthen policy focused on early childhood teaching and learning. These organizations came together because of their shared missions to help leaders build more effective early learning systems in states. Pennsylvania was one of five states involved in Round One States: April 2015-August 2015.
Child Care Subsidy and the Impacts for Low Income Families 
A recent report, Access to Early Care and Education for Disadvantaged Families: Do Levels of Access Reflect State’s Child Care Subsidy Policies? published by Child Trends, examines income-based differences in access to early care and education (ECE) services, and explores how different state subsidy programs support equity of access to ECE. According to the report, low-income parents were less likely than their higher-income counterparts to perceive a choice in the decision about their child’s care. They were also less likely to consider multiple child care options during their search.

Researchers found greater equity in children’s use of center-based child care in states where subsidized child care providers received more funding per subsidized child. These states also had the greatest equity in terms of parental choice when searching for child care. States with more inclusive income guidelines for the subsidy program, coupled with higher family copayments, had the greatest equity in terms of meeting parents’ child care preferences.
The greatest gap in low- and higher-income families’ access to high-quality child care was found in states that focus on serving the neediest families; these states had lower-than-average reimbursement rates and average copayments. 
Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education
The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine convened a committee of experts to study how to fund ECE that is accessible, affordable for families and of high quality. In its report, Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education, the committee concludes that "transforming the financing structure for ECE to meet the needs of all children and families will require greater coordination among financing mechanisms, as well as significant mobilization of financing and other resources across the public and private sectors." The report is a follow up to the vision outlined in the 2015 report Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8.
Where Does Your Child Care Dollar Go?
The Center for American Progress' Simon Workman published a new report, Where Does Your Child Care Dollar Go?: Understanding the True Cost of Quality Early Childhood Education, focusing on understanding the true cost of quality early education and where program fees are spent in order to inform those who may be paying for these services. 
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network 
This website offers resources about identifying different types of child trauma, signs of exposure, and the effects of trauma on children. Resources are available for specific audiences including professionals, family and caregivers, school personnel, and policymakers. The site includes resources for addressing traumatic grief (i.e., the sudden death or loss of a loved one). 
This website features infographics and resources on trauma, several of which are available in English and Spanish. These resources are available for download (PDF) and or may be ordered through the site. 
Milestones in Action
This website is a free image library that features photos and videos of children demonstrating developmental milestones from 2 months to 5 years of age. This tool helps parents, early care and education providers, and healthcare providers identify developmental milestones in children and know when there is cause for celebration or concern.
Did you receive this from a friend? 
Click here  to subscribe and get the PA Early Ed News directly to your email.
The PA Early Ed News is a project of the PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning, and the PA Departments of Education and Human Services to inform early learning professionals, the early childhood community, policymakers, community leaders and the public on developments in early childhood education and care in Pennsylvania.

Find more information about Quality Early Learning in Pennsylvania 

Please share this email with friends, family and colleagues.