Volume 02 | April 2020
Resources and Information on COVID-19 in Pennsylvania
Ensure the information and messaging you hear and distribute about 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, FAQs 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 .

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.

Professional Development in Pennsylvania
Operations for the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and Partners
During the COVID-19 closure mandate, the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and its business partners Early Intervention Technical Assistance (EITA), all 19 Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRC), and the Pennsylvania Key continue to be available to support early learning providers and families. While in-person services have been paused, telephone and virtual connections continue to occur. 

ELRCs continue to process Child Care Works applications and conduct annual redeterminations for families. They are also assisting parents who are part of the life sustaining workforce to make connections to operating child care programs and providing information on services in their region, such as food pantries.
Regarding Face-to-Face Professional Development (PD) Events During COVID-19
Instructors may be making decisions around canceling and/or rescheduling their events in the Professional Development (PD) Registry at this time.

Instructors, keep the following options in mind:

  • Rescheduling the event for a future date allows an instructor to move the participants on the roster to the new event date. This may not be an option for all instructors due to the uncertainty at this time.
  • Canceling an event is possible and refunds may be given if it is a Pennsylvania Key event. For all other events, it is at the discretion of the organization or instructor to offer a refund.
  • If cancelling an event is the only option, email registrants from the email functionality within the roster, give them directions for requesting a refund and remind registrants that the refund process can take up to 10 business days.

The Pennsylvania Key values our partners, instructors and professionals and we appreciate your dedication to ECE professional development during this challenging time.

Questions? Email registry@pakeys.org or call 1-800-284-6031. 
Child Development Associate (CDA) Amnesty Program Extended!
Has your CDA Credential lapsed or expired? Not sure how to go about getting it back? Until June 1, 2020, the CDA council began offering a limited time CDA renewal Amnesty program! This means if you completed your CDA any time after Jan. 1, 2010, and did not submit a renewal to keep the CDA current, you can take advantage of this opportunity to reinstate your CDA credential.

The renewal program is eligible for Rising Stars Tuition Assistance (RSTA). To apply for Financial assistance, ECE professionals need to complete their profile in the PD Registryto see the Financial Assistance tab. For more information about RSTA, visit the Rising STARS page on the PA Key website .

You must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Expiration date as far back as Jan. 1, 2010.
  • Must meet all current renewal requirements (visit the CDA Council website for more information about the renewal process).
  • Apply online using YourCouncil CDA council portal system (for more information on this process, visit the CDA Council website).
The program will run from Jan. 1, 2020 to March 31, 2020. All applications and payments ($125) must be submitted online by March 31, 2020.
Governor Wolf Announces More Than $1 Million in PAsmart Apprenticeship Grants for Early Childhood Education (ECE) Workforce
In February 2020, Governor Tom Wolf demonstrated his continued commitment and support to the early childhood education (ECE) workforce by announcing more than $1 million in PAsmart Apprenticeship grants for the following organizations:

Arcadia University received $212,500 to fund building the current apprenticeship program. Arcadia will be adding four new apprenticeship partnerships with ECE providers in southeast Pennsylvania, adding 15 registered apprentices.

Philadelphia’s 1199c Training & Upgrading Fund was granted $500,000 to continue expanding Pennsylvania’s capacity in ECE apprenticeships. 1199c will utilize data systems to inform next steps, sustainable funding and continued cross-sector coordination with various partners to build the apprenticeship program across the commonwealth.
Keystone College plans to expand their registered ECE apprenticeship program. Keystone are currently serving ten apprentices, and the additional $170,000 will allow for a minimum of 25 ECE apprentices at Keystone College.

The Philadelphia Academies, Inc. was awarded nearly $200,000 to expand the new ECE pre-apprenticeship program. The Academies will grow the pipeline to registered apprenticeships directly from Parkway West High School in Philadelphia.

Congratulations to the grantees! These efforts ensure that Pennsylvania’s ECE workforce has equitable access to a career pathway system. These projects will provide relevant, intentional and meaningful content and experience, while supporting apprentice’s advancement in their career and education.

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 .
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.  For more information including application, visit Zero to Three's website. Application deadline extended to May 6, 2020.
Introducing Foreign Degree Evaluation Reimbursement
Beginning April 2020, the Pennsylvania Key will administer reimbursement stipends for foreign degree evaluations on behalf of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). This stipend will cover any foreign transcripts that were processed through an evaluation service* between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, and will cover up to $150 per evaluation per individual.

*Evaluation service must be a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE). For a full member list of evaluation services, visit  www.naces.org/members  or  www.aice-eval.org/members .

For eligibility information, application process, and more, visit  bit.ly/foreigndegreereimburse.
PQAS Instructors: A Reminder on Course Ownership in the PD Registry
When creating courses, check to be sure you are creating the course through the correct profile.

If you want online registration and/or payment through the system, you need to create ALL courses (and events) within your Organization Profile. If not, you create the course with your individual account.

To access your Organization Profile, click the drop-down menu on the top right (see screen capture below) by your name and select your organization profile.

For more resources for PQAS Instructors, visit the PA Key website .
Coming Soon: New Enhancements Launching in the PD Registry
Announcing two new features in the Professional Development (PD) Registry available April 28, 2020. 

Directors can now invite new staff by email to add their employment to their organization. The employee will open the email and click on a link that directs them to the PD Registry to complete a few questions. Once confirmed, the Director can verify this information. This is a more seamless process and avoids the previous complications of finding the correct organization under the Employment tab.

Search features improved on the Training Calendar.

The new Training Calendar makes it easy to find trainings by either the training start date or by the training title. Other search filters include Event ID, Trainer Name, Sponsor Name, location, and more. You may choose more search options such as specific categories, training modalities, and training fees. This new interface will make it much easier to find exactly what you are looking for to meet your Professional Development Needs.

Coming Soon: Fee Updates Changing for Pennsylvania's Quality Assurance System (PQAS) Applications
The following PQAS application fees are changing:

  • National E-Learning Application: Starting May 1, 2020, the application fee for initial and renewal Pennsylvania Quality Assurance System (PQAS) National E-Learning applications will be $750.00. One course will need to be reviewed and scored. The approval will be valid for a three-year term at which time the organization will need to update their materials as needed and renew their approval.
  • Organizational PQAS Applcation: Starting July 1, 2020, the application fee for all Organizational PQAS Applications (initial and renewal) will be $50.00. The approval will be valid for a three-year term at which time the organization will need to update their application and renew their approval.
  • Individual PQAS Application: Starting July 1, 2020, the application fee for all initial PQAS applications will be $40.00 and for all PQAS renewals the fee will be $30.00. This applies for Professional Development Instructor, Standardized Professional Development Instructor, and Director Instructor applications. The approval will be valid for a five-year term at which time the individual will need to submit a renewal application.

For additional PQAS Information, visit the PA Key website .
Online Professional Development
Online Trainings in the Professional Development (PD) Registry
Many early childhood education (ECE) professionals are taking advantage of completing online courses during this time. Pennsylvania's PD Registry offers different online courses based on your PD needs and requirements. Below are some tips and guidelines for successful registration, completion, and credits towards PQAS hours or ACT 48.

Better Kid Care Online Courses

Completions and PQAS hours take four weeks to appear on your Professional Development Learning Record. To ensure your PQAS Hours show as verified, please make sure that you have successfully followed the steps below:

  1. Login to the PD Registry (www.papdregistry.org).
  2. Go to your profile.
  3. Make sure that all of your information is up to date. Make note of your Registry ID#.
  4. Login to Better Kid Care. Match the information in the PD Registry profile and the Better Kid Care profile exactly, especially your Registry ID #. (i.e. - 100 North Third Street and 100 N. 3rd St. do not match, 4a and 4 A do not match).
  5. Email to betterkidcare@psu.edu saying that you updated your information and to please include your courses in the next PA Key upload.

After waiting four weeks and verifying that personal information in both databases matches, if your workshops are still not showing up, email  registry@pakeys.org . Include your name, Registry ID #, the names of the missing courses, and the dates the courses were taken.  

Accessing Online Courses

To find other online courses on the Training Calendar, follow these steps:

  1. Login to the PD Registry (www.papdregistry.org).
  2. Click on the Training Calendar on the left menu. 
  3. Scroll down and check E-Learning and make sure all other course types are unchecked. You may also find other online courses taken outside of the PD Registry and awarded PQAS credit by clicking on Online Self-Paced.
  4. Click Locate Events.  
  5. Find the course that you would like to register for. 
  6. Click on Register Online. 
  7. Click Register Myself or Register Staff. Directors may register multiple staff members in one transaction.
  8. Click the box, “I agree to the registration terms and conditions.” 
  9. Click Complete Registration. 
  10. Click Enter Classroom if you would like to start the online course at this time.  (If you want to complete the course later, click the My PD tab and locate the course title. Click the blue box to the right of the course title to begin the course. )

Once you have completed the course, make sure to click the X at the top right of the screen within the course. This will ensure your completion of the course.  

ACT 48 Hours for PA Key Online Courses

Individuals that hold a Pennsylvania Department of Education Teaching Certificate may receive ACT 48 hours for PA Key online courses. To ensure that ACT 48 hours are given, make sure your PPID number is listed in your profile. To check if your PPID number is listed, log onto the PD Registry ( www.papdregistry.org ) and click on the personal tab on your profile page. If it is not listed, please contact the PA Key at registry@pakeys.org with your name, registry ID, and PPID number so it can be added. ACT 48 hours are sent to PERMS once a month for these courses and it may take up to 6 weeks to see these credits on your PERMS account.

ACT 48 follows the organization who offered the PD. Not all courses are eligible for Act 48 hours. You will need to contact the organization who offered the PD. Act 48 approved providers are responsible for uploading activity hours for participants directly into PDE’s Professional Education Record Management System (PERMS) within 30 days of completion.
Find a Variety of Online Trainings and Resources in Spanish
Looking for self-paced, early childhood education trainings online in Spanish?

Better Kid Care has more than 50 self-paced lessons in Spanish, including supervision and the required six-hour Basic Health and Safety training. The cost for each training is $5.00 and trainings range from one to six hours. For more information, and a review of each training offered, visit Better Kid Care's website .

Additionally, the PD Registry has several online professional development trainings in Spanish.

The PD Registry also offers the following tipsheets in Spanish:

You are receiving this email because you have a registered email address on The PD Re gistry . If you think you are receiving this email by mistake or you would like to unsubscribe, please email registry@pakeys.org or call 1-800-284-6031.

Find more information about Quality Early Learning in Pennsylvania 
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