June 29, 2022

Welcome to the
ELRC 8, 9, & 10 Newsletter
Your source for all relevant resources, updates, PD, and events
relating to Child Care and School Age Care in your region!
Supports and Contacts
STARS Contact List
OCDEL Updates
Child Care Technology Access Award
Deadline June 30, 2022
Eligibility for the Child Care Technology Access Awards ends Thursday, June 30, 2022. The Child Care Technology Access Award allows eligible DHS certified child care providers to purchase certain identified tools aimed at increasing technology access and supporting business practices and enhance classroom activities. Applicants experiencing issues with the receipt of their technology should contact Kaplan at 1-800-334-2014. For child care providers newly licensed in May or June, Kaplan will have targeted outreach to your program contact. You are considered eligible to participate in this initiative if licensed by June 30, 2022. 

ELRC Updates
Welcome Ashlee!
Hello! My name is Ashlee Walter, and I am the new STARS Quality Coach in Region 8 covering Centre County. I am excited to begin my new career, since promoting high quality early care and education has been a long-time passion of mine.

I began my journey in Early Childhood Education working with children and their families in 2007, working as a Floater, Assistant Teacher, Assistant Head Teacher, Peer Mentor, Early Head Start Teacher and as a Developmental Preschool Teacher. It has been a professional goal of mine to gain as much experience as possible; I have worked with children ages birth through five years with diverse developmental needs and abilities across Snyder, Union, Mifflin, and Clinton Counties.

In my personal life, child development and learning are also at the forefront of my priorities - I have two daughters: Sofia and Auslyn. My husband and I enjoy taking the girls outdoors to hike, bike, boat, kayak, canoe, camp, snowboard, fish, and swim. We love to explore and play in nature! 
ELRC Learning Opportunities
CACFP and Nutrition
Summer Series: CACFP Portable Picnics

Sunny days with a refreshing breeze are a perfect time to take dining outdoors. On Thursday, July 14th, learn from our Nutrition Education Specialist, Isabel Ramos-Lebron, MS, RDN, LD, about how to create and safely serve CACFP meals picnic...

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Moving Our Bodies

Playtime can be full of opportunities to learn! Check out these printable movement squares from Sesame Street in Communities. Simply download the document, print, and cut the squares. When it's time to play, take turns drawing squares and...

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Call for Participants in Study on Technology in Early Care

Who is eligible: You are eligible to participate if you're an over eighteen adult, working at a state-licensed or registered Child care facility in the United States that is currently open, operational, and caring for children for pay. Ready to...

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Keystone STARS
NEW Streamlined Keystone STARS Designation System - 7/1/2022

The new Streamlined Keystone STARS Designation System rolls out next week - ARE YOU READY? Prepare using the PD Registry Director's Guide and ensuring your personal profile, your staffs' personal profiles, and your organization profile is up to date.

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Community Partners
HealthChoices Plan Selection

Pennsylvania's Department of Human Services (DHS) is changing which Physical Health Managed Care Organizations (PH Plans) are available for Medical Assistance (MA) consumers. This is an opportunity for DHS to be sure that...

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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
Diversity in an early years classroom

It used to be an accolade to be considered a "melting pot" or a "mosaic" when it comes to cultural diversity. However, it is now recognized that instead of a unified and singular cultural expression, there is more value in highlighting individual ...

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Four Things to Remember About Supporting LGBTQ Youth

Want to learn more about how to be supportive and inclusive of LGBTQ youth? Eileen Wise, a youth development specialist at Penn State Better Kid Care and primary author of the PYD series, shares four things to keep in mind. 1. Know basic facts...

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Achieving equity and quality in early learning [Podcast]

The week on The Preschool Podcast, we are honored to welcome Judy Jablon, the Executive Director of Leading for Children. Judy is passionate about shaping experiences that ignite children's personalities. Through Leading for Children, she gets a...

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Social-Emotional Learning
Get Your Free Growing With Nature Book Excerpt - Nature...

Get the first 75 pages of Nature Explore's Growing With Nature book and be inspired by educators across the nation as they share classroom insights and practical advice on enhancing children's healthy development in outdoor classrooms. This free...

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Expand Your Classroom With Nature-Based Sensory...

Sensory activities are a great way to enhance learning by introducing elements of play, discovery, and creativity into the classroom. Explore the world outside or bring the outside in with these nature-based sensory activities. You'll find...

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Health, Safety, & Wellness
The Power of Kindness - Mindful

Power makes the world go 'round. It's how we get things done. But, Dacher Keltner says, too often we associate it with nastiness and self- centeredness. I first read Lord of the Flies when I was 15, and my family was on sabbatical in Nottingham,...

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HHS releases new PSAs to encourage Covid-19 vaccinations ...

Just days after the United States rolled out child-sized doses of Covid-19 vaccine for children younger than 5, the Biden administration has launched a new ad campaign to encourage parents to give their kids the "best protection" against...

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Have you started using the Healthy Minds app yet? This free self-care resource is made available to you by OCDEL.
Since it's FREE why not give it a try?
Family Providers
Supporting Providers - GeeWhiz Education

At Gee Whiz, we recognize the importance of supporting providers in as many ways as possible. Research indicates that providers who are supported not only have stronger programs, they have a more positive outlook. At Gee Whiz, we support...

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School Age
National Summer Learning Week - July 12-16, 2021

National Summer Learning Week is a celebration dedicated to elevating the importance of keeping kids learning, safe, and healthy every summer, ensuring they return to school ready to succeed in the year.

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Parents & Families
Changes are coming to PA's Medicaid Plans...

Starting today and going through July 7, mailings explaining the new plan choices will go out to all Medicaid consumers. Mailings will be sent to both those who are impacted and must change plans because their current plan is going away, and...

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Professional Development: on the PD Registry
Mark your calendars | October 17 - 19, 2022

Yes ... we all wanted to be back together at the Penn Stater this year, but with vaccines continuing to roll out and social distancing requirements continuing to evolve, we decided to move forward with our 3rd Online Early Childhood Education Summit.

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Professional Development: Other Opportunities
6/29- Leadership Focus: Leading a Program Where Wellness...

Never underestimate the value of caring about what you do and whom you do it with and for. In this hour-long webinar, we will talk to experienced school and program leaders who are effectively addressing the...

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6/30- Creating an inclusive learning environment...

Kayla will be joining us to discuss how to bring anti-oppressive practices into early childhood education classrooms and walk us through how to create an environment that expects, rather than accommodates, everyone. We will learn how to...

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Additional Online Training Opportunities
Additional News Sources
New resources, Summer Reading, a Live Musical and More!

new resources for Afghan and Ukrainian families as part of our Welcome Sesame initiative, all designed to help children cope with the trauma of displacement, communicate and process their experiences, and develop a sense of belonging in new places.

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Thank you for all you do for children, families, and your community by being part of the STARS program.

Child Care Consultants
(717) 854-2273 or
(800) 864-4925