April 2020 edition
An inside look at Pennsylvania's early childhood education system.
What's New for April
The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) extends it's most sincere gratitude to all those child care providers who have had to make difficult decisions regarding their programs, and have communicated information to families, children and staff. Thank you so very much for your role in the lives of children and families, and the demonstration of caring and professionalism displayed during this challenging time for Pennsylvania.

This edition of the PA Early Ed News shares information regarding keeping Pennsylvania communities safe and healthy from the coronavirus (COVID-19). This edition features a new section, Coronavirus Related Information, with the latest information and resources. See the section below for the details.

Many conferences and other opportunities have extended deadline or cancelled events. It is recommended to contact the venue prior to making plans to attend an event.

An article from New America (below) highlights movement regarding Early Childhood Education (ECE) apprenticeships and includes the progress Pennsylvania has made as a forerunner of ECE apprenticeship practice.

This edition also brings resources for assisting families and children through difficult times, including building resilience in young children, supporting children experiencing trauma, and creating a child care program's emergency action plan. 

To quote Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, stay calm, stay home, and stay safe.
Early Education in Pennsylvania
RFI Family Support Programs Solicitation Due Date Extended
Extended Deadline April 8, 2020
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (“Department”) Shared Services for Health and Human Services, Bureau of Procurement & Contract Management has extended the deadline until April 8, 2020, for the Request for Information (RFI) on behalf of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning’s (OCDEL), Bureau of Early Intervention Services and Family Supports, to solicit input and information concerning Family Support Programs.
The RFI seeks information to assist the Department in the following:
  • Gaining awareness of the presence and scope of existing Family Support programs;
  • Soliciting input regarding core components and costs of successful Family Support Programs; and
  • Ascertaining local interest in the development of Family Support Programs.  
This RFI seeks information to assist in developing the direction and next procurement for department-funded Family Support Programs. For the purpose of this RFI Family Support programs include OCDEL funded Evidence-Based Home Visiting programs, Family Centers, Parenting Classes, and Fatherhood Programs. The Department with OCDEL will craft a competitive Request for Application (RFA) and may revise program operations based on the information it receives from this RFI, in conjunction with research and input on best practices.
View the bid online at   eMarketplace or by clicking  here. Stakeholders have until noon, April 8, 2020, to submit comments. 
CDA Renewal Amnesty Program Deadline Extended
Extended Deadline June 30, 2020
Due to recent events, the Council for Professional Recognition is extending the deadline for the CDA Renewal Amnesty Program to June 30, 2020.

This program allows anyone with a CDA® credential expiration date as far back as Jan. 1, 2010, an opportunity to complete the renewal process and make their credential active again. Find out more on the CDA Council website .
Bringing Science to Pennsylvania Families and Children
A partnership between the Pennsylvania Key, Pennsylvania School-Age Child Care Alliance (Penn SACCA) and the public Libraries of Pennsylvania aims to bring science to children and families in areas with limited opportunity. Leaders from the partnership were trained to implement a unit from the Leap into Science curriculum which joins science and literature with The Franklin Institute’s, Core Four Strategies, with the main emphasis on dabbling in science and having fun. Each instructor was provided with the curriculum and a kit full of multiple audience books about wind, materials to execute the curriculum, and ongoing supports through quarterly virtual chats. 

Leap into Science, Wind Unit was provided earlier this year at the Erie Family Center in collaboration with Early Learning Resource Center Region 1 and the United Way of Erie, to provide an evening of family engagement. Attending families with children ranged from toddler to ten- years-old, and rotated through five science-themed stations, where the Erie Family Center Parents as Teachers staff acted as guides. There were materials for hands-on activities and at the end of the learning event, the United Way of Erie provided a backpack with Kindergarten Readiness materials and books, with the Erie Family Center providing transportation to families.

Applications will soon be available for new instructors for the Leap into Science, Lights and Shadows Unit. Training locations are set for California University of Pennsylvania, York and Scranton with Instructor Institutes occurring in Fall 2020. For more information, contact Betsy O. Saatman at betsaa@pakeys.org.
Online Courses from OCDEL
The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is offering eight online courses through the PD Registry! These courses include:

Please log into the PD Registry at www.papdregistry.org to view the course description and register. If you have any questions or problems please contact Barry Wiestling at bwiestling@pa.gov
Save the Date
Attendees should check with the venue for cancellations or rescheduled events.

Coronavirus Related Information
Resources and Information Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Ensure the information and messaging you hear and distribute about Coronavirus (COVID-19) is accurate and up-to-date. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Health website has a section focusing on COVID-19, which includes information on the most recent Pennsylvania specific statistics, testing, FAQ and other resources. Visit the webpage or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) also has coronavirus specific information on their website. Get information about County Assistance Offices, provider and citizen resources, and other ways to stay connected to the latest information. Visit the DHS website, or connect with them on Facebook or Twitter.

DHS Secretary, Teresa Miller, joined WITF Smart Talk on March 23, 2020, to discuss the Department's guidance during the COVID-19 emergency. Click here to listen to the recording.

A new page on the Pennsylvania Key website provides early childhood education (ECE) professionals with a collection of resources and information on COVID-19. Check out the resources for federal and state guidance, resources for employees and businesses affected by COVID-19, guidance from the medical community, food and nutrition services, resources for families, and general resources.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has COVID-19 specific information which includes what you should know, situation updates, and information for variety of audiences, such as communities, schools, businesses, travel and more. They also have information available for interim Guidance for Administrators of US K-12 Schools and Child Care Programs. Follow the CDC on Facebook or Twitter.

The School House Connection has information and resources related to COVID-19 and Homelessness: Strategies for Schools and Early Learning Programs, including identification and services in school and ECE programs, ensuring safety and basic needs outside of school and ECE programs, access to learning, and addressing mental health needs. 
The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) is collecting resources for state ECE policymakers and other stakeholders to help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to prepare in the event of closing or other emergencies that impact early childhood program operations. See the listing of resources from national organizations and federal agencies, state agencies and organizations. 
Recent Announcements
PA School Closure Dates Extended
On March 30, 2020, Pennsylvania's Department of Education (PDE) announced all schools in the commonwealth will remain closed until further notice, as a result of the COVID-19 response efforts. Visit the PDE website for additional details.

On March 19, 2020 Governor Wolf announced the  Closure of All Businesses That Are Not Life-Sustaining . Child care is not considered life-sustaining in general and until the Governor lifts the order, child care programs in Pennsylvania must remain closed unless they meet one of the following criteria: 
  1. A Family Child Care Home; 
  2. A Group Child Care Home operating in a residence; 
  3. A Child Care Center or Group Child Care Home operating outside a residence that has received Waiver to provide care for children of employees of life-sustaining businesses from OCDEL; or, 
  4. A Part-day school age program that has received a waiver to remain open from the Department of Community and Economic Development, available here.   

Upon notice that the Governor’s March 19, 2020 order is to be lifted, all child care programs who closed during COVID-19 may be able to resume operations depending on the circumstances and whether any additional orders are issued or in place at that time.   

Child Care Programs will otherwise return to operations at their discretion based the program’s ability to insure regulatory compliance on criteria that includes but is not limited to the availability of space, staff, and the needs of families enrolled at the time of the program’s closure.
Resources for Pennsylvania Families on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s announcement of statewide closure of all K-12 Pennsylvania schools effective Monday, March 16, 2020, may leave many families seeking resources to keep children safe and learning during this time. PA's Promise for Children has a listing of resources related to:
  • General COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information
  • Talking to Children About Coronavirus and Supporting Them
  • Resources for Families Affected by Coronavirus
  • Activities to Do While Children Are Home
  • Resources for Early Childhood Education Programs & Professionals
Food Assistance During COVID-19 Mitigation
Given the statewide mitigation efforts in Pennsylvania to prevent spread and exposure to COVID-19, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Food Assistance is offering guidance regarding how to access emergency food assistance if Pennsylvanians are experiencing food insecurity related to COVID-19. Visit the PA Department of Agriculture's website for details.

Effective March 24, 2020, Child and Adult Care Food Program  (CACFP) centers/institutions/ providers with CACFP Sponsor acknowledgement may provide meals to participants in their enrollment even if closed due to COVID-19 closure. Pre-approval is not required to begin implementing the non-congregate meals. However, to claim meals for reimbursement during this time, sponsors must complete the CACFP Non-Congregate Meal Form for COVID-19 Closures including all active centers/institutions/providers. Claims will not be accepted for any center/institution/provider that is not accounted for on the CACFP Non-Congregate Meal Form for COVID-19 Closures. Sponsors may only serve at currently approved sites. For more information, see the Waivers for CACFP During COVID-19 Closure from the PDE.
Child Care for Essential Workers during Coronavirus Outbreak
Early childhood education programs are essential for the millions of children and families they serve and play an important role during emergency public health and economic emergencies. Child Care Aware® of America has partnered with Yale University Professors Walter Gilliam and Eli Fenichel and their colleagues to promote and disseminate an interactive map that estimates the child care needs of essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The dashboard uses data from the US Census Current Population Survey to estimate child care demand for the children of workers in critical sectors. Use this tool to search in the context of national, state, or metro area data and filter to explore the demand by: Employment sector (all industries, essential industries, health care, and more); Child age (0-2, 3-5, and 6-11 years); Need after accounting for child care responsibilities that might be taken on by another caregiver in the home, such as a non-working adult or older sibling (aged 13-20); or Child care workforce caregiver age (40 and under, 41-60 and 60+). 

According to the interactive map, there are more than 1.66 million Pennsylvania children in need of child care while their parents are employed in all industries, with more than 697,000 Pennsylvania children in need of care whose parents are employed in essential industries.
Of Interest
April 2, 2020: SBA Loan Application Process Webinar
The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (PASBDC) is hosting the webinar, Small Business Administration (SBA) Emergency Loan Webinar: Process for applying and FAQ's. This no-cost webinar is designed to provide small business clients with answers to help understand: 1) who is eligible for an SBA Emergency loan, 2) what is needed before filing an application 3) understand realistic timelines for approval/closing on a loan and 4) helpful guides to help estimate economic loss. Click here to register for the April 2, 2020, webinar, or click here to register for the April 3, 2020, webinar.
Early Educators Apprenticeship Act Introduced in the US Senate
A recent article, Early Educators Apprenticeship Act Introduced in the Senate, from New America highlights the March 12, 2020, introduction of the Early Educators Apprenticeship Act to the Senate by Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), Senator Robert Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). The bill will provide much needed federal resources to help partnerships within states to establish registered apprenticeship programs for their early childhood workforce, including apprenticeships culminating in a college degree.

Pennsylvania's efforts in early childhood education (ECE) apprenticeship are highlighted in the article as excelling with programs that provide apprentices with college credit for the competencies built on the job, in addition to what is learned in the classroom. Read the full article.
Lancaster Lebanon Families Apply for IU13 Jae Davis Parent Scholarship
Application deadline extended to April 3, 2020
Families in Lancaster or Lebanon Counties have until April 3, 2020, to apply for the Jae David Parent Scholarship which offers an opportunity for up to ten parents to attend the National Autism Conference held Aug. 3-6 in State College, PA. The scholarships are provided for parents of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This includes children (ages three and older) who are served by IU13 or one of the IU13's 22 constituent school districts. The scholarships cover costs for participation in the national conference, held annually at Penn State University. Visit the IU13 website for additional application information, including how to apply.
Call for Workshop Proposals: National Summer Learning Association Conference
Deadline for Submission April 15, 2020

The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) is seeking workshop proposals for the annual national conference, Summer Changes Everything, to be held in Washington, DC, Nov. 16-18, 2020. The workshop sessions will advance evidence-based practices, effective partnership strategies, and leadership development at every level, as well as examine learning trends and policy implications that will have a direct impact on your work. The deadline for proposal submissions is April 15, 2020. View the Call for Proposals.
ZERO TO THREE Fellowship Application
Application Deadline extended to May 6, 2020
ZERO TO THREE is a national, nonprofit organization that provides parents, professionals, and policymakers the knowledge and know-how to nurture early development. The ZERO TO THREE Fellowship is a premier leadership experience committed to supporting the next generation of early childhood leaders in embracing a courageous, just, and collaborative approach to our shared work.

Fellows are diverse professionals across disciplines and sectors who are change agents – transforming programs, systems, and policies that impact the lives of young children and their families. Over the 32-year history of the fellowship, more than 300 national and international leaders are alumni of this esteemed network and continue to impact the lives of babies and young children in profound ways. Alumni maintain lifetime relationships with other Fellows and ZERO TO THREE Board members and Staff through the Academy of ZERO TO THREE Fellows. Click here for more information, including application. Application deadline extended to May 6, 2020.
Responding to the 2020 Census
Homes began receiving their invitation to respond to the 2020 Census between March 12-20, 2020. These official Census Bureau mailings include detailed information and a Census ID for completing the Census online.

Families can complete their questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail. Please note that if you are responding online, you must complete the Census in one sitting, as you don't have the ability to save your progress. If you do not receive an invitation to respond from the Census Bureau, you may respond online or visit the Contact Us page to call the US Census phone line.

If you program is conducting family outreach during the COVID-19 crisis, please ask if families have received and responded to the Census and if not, encourage families to respond. 
Research and Reports
Programs for Youth and Young Adults: Science-informed Definitions
A new webpage developed by Child Trends offers a one-stop source of clear and common definitions for terms that may be encountered by practitioners who serve youth and young adults. Some of these terms will be familiar; others may be new. A better understanding of these terms related to youth and young adult development will be useful for practitioners who work day-to-day with young people, for grant writers describing contexts and interventions as they seek funds, or for program managers seeking to update programs or train staff.

The site is designed so that the terms are defined according to a conceptual model that links contexts, interventions, and outcomes. Contexts describe the circumstances that can lead to the need for an intervention, which can, in turn, result in better outcomes. There are also examples of how contexts might be linked with interventions and outcomes in a program setting.
State Pre-K Policies: Salary Parity Varies with Teacher Qualifications and Setting
The National Institute for Early Education Research's (NIEER) new pre-K data snapshot, State Pre-K Policies: Salary Parity Varies with Teacher Qualifications and Setting by Karin Garver provides a nationwide analysis of state pre-K program policies on salary parity with public school teachers in the early grades. Garver reviews both policies and salary data for pre-K teachers and K-3 teachers to provide insights into how much difference parity policies make as well as which states have them. Very few states have parity polices that apply equally to preschool teachers in private providers. Without policy change, many state pre-K programs can expect staffing problems to continue and even worsen. There are especially large salary disparities between private preschool and public school K-3 teachers 
Preventing and Addressing Intimate Violence when Engaging Dads: Challenges, Successes, and Promising Practices from Responsible Fatherhood Programs
A new report, Preventing and Addressing Intimate Violence when Engaging Dads (PAIVED): Challenges, Successes, and Promising Practices from Responsible Fatherhood Programs , from Child Trends describes Responsible Fatherhood programs’ approaches to intimate partner violence prevention and intervention, and identifies common challenges, successes, and promising practices. Teaching fathers about the consequences of intimate partner violence for children’s well-being may be an effective strategy to motivate them to engage in intimate partner violence prevention and intervention initiatives.  
Featured Article: Building Resilience in Young Children
When Jeremiah falls down, he gets up right away and goes back to what he was doing and tries again. When Jasmine falls, she sits and cries, and refuses to try again.

What makes the difference? Why are some children able to thrive in spite of serious traumas in their lives—such as neglect, abuse, poverty, serious illness? The ability to bounce back after a crisis (as small as a fall or as significant as neglect or the death of a loved one) or thrive in spite of persistent obstacles is called resilience .

Resilience protects children from the most severe effects of stress and trauma and helps them cope more effectively. In April's featured article from PA's Promise for Children , discover characteristics of resilient children, how toxic stress affects us (and what we can do about it), and how families can help their young child build resilience. 
Assistance with Diapers
If you or someone you know needs diapers, there may be assistance in your community. To find out if an agency in your area provides diaper assistance to families in need, please call 2-1-1 on your phone or search online at 2-1-1.org. Specialist are available 24/7 to help identify local resources that may be able to help provide diapers and other basic necessities. Ask about or search for diapers or basic needs. Also check the listings under children. If you still can’t find a resource, try local faith-based organizations and food pantries.
Transition to Kindergarten: Partnering with Families and Schools
A resource from the Office of Head Start guides early childhood education (ECE) professionals in preparing families whose child has been receiving special education services and will have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in their new school. Although geared for Head Start, the resource, Transition to Kindergarten: Partnering with Families and Schools, helps ECE staff practice relationship-building with a parent in a safe virtual environment. Learn how to make intentional choices about what to discuss with family members and how to respond to their feedback. Also, discover what is needed in relationship-building between an ECE professional and a receiving school staff member. 
The Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week Toolkit
The Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week Toolkit from the National Afterschool Association provides templates and graphics to help spread the word and celebrate the event held April 20-24, 2020. 
Free Books through Book Bank
Book Bank books and educational resources are generously donated to Book Bank through First Book by publishing partners and are available to First Book Members for only the cost of shipping & handling—the books are FREE. Find books for ages birth to adult.
Latest Editions of Natural Resources
The March issue of Natural Resources from Camille Catlett is devoted to gumdrops – short, memorable videos that demonstrate evidence-based practices for infants and toddlers in memorable ways. Explore the March edition. The April issue is devoted to free resources to support learning at home for young children. Explore the April edition.
Video: Supporting Children Experiencing Trauma
In her latest video, Dr. Deborah Bergeron, Director of the Office of Head Start, speaks with Dr. Sangeeta Parikshak, Social Science Analyst at the Office of Head Start. They explore the ways Head Start programs are uniquely positioned to deal with the impacts of trauma. They also discuss approaches programs can use to improve how they serve children affected by trauma.  Watch the video.
Episode Three: The Brain Architects Podcast: Serve and Return: Supporting the Foundation
The third episode of the Center on the Developing Child's new podcast, The Brain Architects , explores how serve-and-return interactions help make strong connections in developing brains and build the foundation for children's lifelong learning, behavior, and health. Listen as a panel of experts explains how serve and return can be a part of our everyday lives and become second nature with practice. Listen to Episode Three . Catch up with Episode One or Episode Two .
Updated Brochure: Parents: Is Your Child Care Program Prepared for Disaster?
For families who have children enrolled in a child care program, it is essential to understand the program’s emergency plan and what is expected of the family in case of emergency. To know the what, when, where, and how of a child care provider’s emergency action plan, ask the ten questions presented in this updated brochure from Child Care Aware of America . The brochure is available in English and Spanish. The information in this brochure is good for providers to jumpstart a conversation with their families on how they will operate in an emergency.
In Case You Missed It
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.