Pennsylvania's Promise for Children  
Early Childhood Education Newsletter


Welcome to BUILD ECE News

February 1, 2012 

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) promotes opportunities
for all Pennsylvania children and families by building systems and providing supports
that help ensure access to high quality child and family services.



OCDEL In Action

BUILD ECE News Survey 2012:  Share your thoughts! Deadline February 22

We want to know what you think about the BUILD ECE News!  Please take a few moments to answer eight short questions and share your feedback. Your responses may help to improve the way important information about quality early learning is delivered within BUILD.

Click here to take the survey!  Responses will be collected through February 22, 2012. To view past editions of BUILD ECE News or to sign up to receive BUILD via email, please visit the PA's Promise for Children website.


Updates from the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education

The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education has released Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd Edition which are updated to reflect changes/additions since the second printing of CFOC3 in August 2011. These national standards represent the best evidence, expertise, and experience in the country on quality health and safety practices and policies that should be followed in today’s early care and education settings.

Major Change in Caring for Our Children, 3rd Edition (CFOC3) include:

  • Standard Safe Sleep Practices and SIDS/Suffocation Risk Reduction (p. 96 in hard copy)
  • Change: The use of blankets is no longer recommended. (This is addressed in the COMMENTS section of the standard, under "Use of Blankets" on page 98). (updated December 2011)

To download copies of the document, please visit the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education website.


Help Pennsylvania join the fight against childhood obesity

NACCRRA, the Centers for Disease Control and the Office of Child Care have announced a Let’s Move! Child Care State Challenge. Help Pennsylvania win this challenge by encouraging local family child care, center providers and families to join the fight against childhood obesity by taking an interactive quiz and signing up to show their commitment to helping fight childhood obesity. After signing up, participants can receive a Certificate for Participation; build a customized Action Plan exclusively for their program or home to help reach physical activity and nutrition goals; and access ideas and resources.

States will be recognized in two categories:

  • Category 1: Highest percentage of licensed or legally operating child care programs that sign up as Let’s Move! Child Care participants
  • Category 2. Largest percentage of Let’s Move! programs that successfully complete the initiative’s checklist quiz and action plans

Let’s Move! Child Care is an effort to promote children’s health by encouraging and supporting healthier physical activity and nutrition practices for children in child care. The five goal areas of Let’s Move! Child Care are:

  1. Increasing physical activity
  2. Reducing screen time
  3. Improving food choices
  4. Providing healthy beverages
  5. Supporting infant feeding

Winning states will receive national recognition including an award presentation during the 2012 Weight of the Nation conference. With more than 20% of children between 2 and 5 years old overweight or obese, the child care community is an essential ally in the effort to prevent childhood obesity, support children’s healthy development, and prevent the occurrence of later chronic disease. To sign up as Let’s Move! Child Care participant, visit the Healthy Kids Healthy Future website. ~ECELS


Trends and Reports 

Abecedarian Project Update:  Benefits of high quality child care persist 30 years later 

A recent study led by the Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill finds that adults who participated in a high quality early childhood education program in the 1970s are still benefiting from their early experiences in a variety of ways. The Abecedarian Project was a carefully controlled scientific study of the potential benefits of early childhood education for children from low-income families who were at risk of developmental delays or academic failure. Participants attended a full-time child care facility that operated year-round, from infancy until they entered kindergarten. Throughout their early years, the children were provided with educational activities designed to support their language, cognitive, social and emotional development. Of the 111 infants originally enrolled in the project (98 percent of whom were African-American), 101 took part in the age 30 follow-up.

According to the latest study of adults at age 30, Abecedarian Project participants

  • Had significantly more years of education than peers who were part of a control group. They were also four times more likely to have earned college degrees; 23 percent of participants graduated from a four-year college or university compared to only 6 percent of the control group;
  • Were more likely to have been consistently employed (75 percent had worked full time for at least 16 of the previous 24 months, compared to 53 percent of the control group);
  • Were less likely to have used public assistance (only 4 percent received benefits for at least 10 percent of the previous seven years, compared to 20 percent of the control group); and
  • Showed a tendency to delay parenthood by almost two years compared to the control group.  

For additional information about the study, please visit the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill website.


More Trends and Reports


In The News

How Childcare Boosts Social Capital

A recent online article by writer Meera Lee Sethi, conveys that new research demonstrates how mothers using child care can reap social, psychological, and financial rewards.  She identifies the “social capital” as the complex system of interpersonal ties and networks that scientists have linked to a host of benefits, from better health to stronger job prospects. She writes

This is an unusual way of thinking about childcare, especially since the national debate over it usually concerns its impact on children’s emotional, behavioral, and intellectual development.

Mothers using child care reap social, psychological, and even financial rewards; these rewards are especially pronounced for low-income mothers. Even when mothers make few friends through a child care center, they still benefit from the resources they find there.

To read the full article, please visit the Greater Good website.


More In the News


In the Community 

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

Spring may not havesprouted yet, but if your child will enter kindergarten next fall, now is the time to register. Many Kindergarten registration events throughout Pennsylvania are well under way--have you checked out the activities and events offered at your school?  Early registration for Kindergarten can provide families the supports they need to ensure their child is ready for that all important first day of Kindergarten.  

Find your school district Kindergarten dates and events at the PA Promise for Children website.


Engaging Families Wins Award for LEARN Team

Judges at the annual Columbia/Montour Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase held at the Columbia Mall during October's PA's Promise for Children month voted to award the Columbia and Montour County LEARN Teams "Most Creative" in engaging visitors of the event. This year the team chose a pirate theme, using the tag line “Children ARRRRe Our Greatest Treasure”. An information table was made to look like a pirate ship and a treasure chest filled with free early learning materials greeted visitors.  

This event provided a great opportunity to educate and engage with the local businesses and community at large regarding the importance of high quality early learning experiences for all children. Each year the Columbia/Montour Chamber of Commerce encourages participants to display materials in a creative way.

For more information on quality early learning in Columbia County, please contact Amanda Schell at 570-275-4047 x257 or In Montour County, please contact Beth Cherwinski at 570-275-4047 or For more information about quality early learning opportunities in your county, visit the PA's Promise for Children website, or contact your Local Education and Resource Network (LEARN) Team Coordinator.


Community Partners bring Learning is Everywhere to families

Tucked away in a cozy corner of Family Library at Community Services for Children in Allentown is a wire shelf that holds eight of the thirteen books suggested in the Learning Is Everywhere activity guide for the month of January, whose theme is "In The Kitchen".  The hardcover books are neatly arranged alongside a play toaster, a felt cooking set, and a pile of the guides available free to parents

Marie Louesy and Athena Greenspan, librarians at Family Library located in the Fowler Building, 1520 Hanover Ave., discovered this free resource for parents when they attended a state sponsored professional development day in December. They realized the value of the activity guides for the families that come in for one of the library's twice-weekly story times for children from birth to twelve.

Greenspan said most of the parents coming into the library are looking for things to do with their young children. The guide features no- or low-cost activities that align with Pennsylvania's Early Learning Standards, which provide information about what children usually know or are able to do within specific age ranges. The activity guides help the librarians explain to parents what the early learning standards are for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners, and how parents can support their children in learning new skills.

Find out more about the Learning is Everywhere activity guide on the PA's Promise for Children website.  To get your own copy, contact your Local Education and Resource Network (LEARN) Team Coordinator.


Into Action

Participate in the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s Online Survey, deadline February 3

Call for Abstracts: 5th National Research Conference on Child and Family Programs and Policy, deadline March 5

Applications still being accepted for Expand the Brand Communication & Development Series, deadline March 9

After school artists needed to design the 2012 Lights On Afterschool Poster, deadline May 1

PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest, deadline July 13



Pittsburgh Perinatal Comfort Care offers guidance & support to families after unanticipated diagnosis during pregnancy

Family Engagement in Early Childhood: A Resource Guide

United Through Reading Military Program

Reading Rockets:  The Vocabulary of Science

Free Books for Kids Now Also Available in Braille

Out-of School Bibliography now available for access to descriptions, citations, and links to evaluations and research studies for over 500 OST programs


Funding Opportunities

New Leaders Aspiring Principals Program, deadline February 7

Jamba Juice It’s All About the Fruit and Veggies grant, deadline February 15

The Great American Teach-Off, deadline February 20

Dollar General Literacy Foundation Family Literacy and Summer Reading Grants, deadline February 28

Ashoka Changemakers: Activating Empathy, deadline March 30


Employment Opportunities

Community Services for Children, multiple positions.  Allentown

National After School Association: Executive Director



Higher Education

Early Childhood Education/Early Intervention AAS at Lehigh Carbon Community College 


One Family's Story

I honestly can say, Early Intervention got our family through some of the most trying times we'd ever experienced as parents. My children were paired with knowledgeable and caring professionals who truly helped them achieve their full potential. Their doctors are amazed at their progress and refer to them as miracle babies. We know that we owe a lot of this success to a very high quality Early Intervention program.

Bradford Sullivan County mom shares about Early Intervention experience

Discover the experiences of other Pennsylvania families on PA Promise for Children  



PA Promise for Children on Facebook 

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Become a fan of PA Promise for Children on Facebook and get up-to-date information on how to help Pennsylvania children reach their promise! 











February:  Blair County LEARN Presents County-wide Story Hours:  I Love LEARNing...I Love SCHOOL!
February 4:  Countdown to Kindergarten, State College

February 6:  Pre-K/K Teacher In-Service, Tunkhannock

February 7:  Kindergarten Transition Workshop, Aardvark Childcare & Early Learning Center, Primos

February 8:  Kindergarten Transition Workshop, Children's Corner, Havertown

February 8:  Susquehanna County CARES LEARN Team Meeting, New Milford

February 8:  Webinar:  Ask Dr. Judy: What Neurological Emotional Interventions Promote Growth Mindset, Academic, Social, and Emotional Success?
February 8:  Program Administration Scale (PAS) Overview PD Opportunity, PAS: Widening the Lens, Allentown

February 14: Early Care & Education Coalition of Pike County (ECEC) LEARN Team meeting, Milford

February 14: Bucks County LEARN Team meeting, Newtown

February 15-16: National Summit on Quality in Home Visiting Programs, Washington DC

February 18:  22nd Annual Children's Fair at the Columbia Mall, Buckhorn

February 22:  Kindergarten Transition Workshop, Middletown Library, Media

February 23: Annual Transition to Kindergarten Conference for families, providers and K teachers, Boiling Springs

March:  DuBoise Area School District Kindergarten registration, Duboise

March 3:  Education Express Transition Fair, Pottsville
March 6:  Program Administration Scale (PAS) Overview PD Opportunity, PAS: Widening the Lens, Grove City

March 7:  Kindergarten Transition Workshop, Today's Child, Colwyn
March 8:
Early Learning Network Meeting to focus on Transitioning Into Kindergarten, Allentown
March 12:  Program Administration Scale (PAS) Overview PD Opportunity, PAS: Widening the Lens, Harrisburg
March 12:  PLAY: Understanding & Reinforcing the Motor Development of Infants and Toddlers, Indiana

March 12: 
Lancaster County LEARN Meeting, Lancaster
March 14:  Susquehanna County CARES LEARN Team Meeting, New Milford

March 14: 
Kindergarten Transition Workshop, Today's Child, Sharon Hill

March 21:  Kindergarten Transition Workshop, Today's Child, Darby
15:  Getting Ready for School Night, Lewistown Elementary, Lewistown
March 22:  Program Administration Scale (PAS) Overview PD Opportunity, PAS: Widening the Lens, Morton
March 28:  Kindergarten Transition Conference, Lancaster

March 28-31:  The Global Summit on Childhood, Washington DC

April 4:  Susquehanna County CARES LEARN Team Meeting, New Milford

April 20: 26th Annual Early Childhood Conference, Indiana

April 26: Getting Ready for School Night, Indian Valley Elementary, Lewistown

May 2-3:  2012 Pennsylvania Head Start Conference, Harrisburg
May 9:  Susquehanna County CARES LEARN Team Meeting, New Milford

May 9:  Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, National

May 11-12:  DVAEYC's Annual Conference, Family Matters!  Engaging Families, Partnering for Success, Philadelphia 

September 21-22:  2012 PAEYC & Family Support Conference, Pittsburgh

November 18:  PAEYC Early Literacy Conference, Digital Media Literacy and Young Children, Youngwood



Visit Quality Early Learning in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Department of Education

Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare

Pennsylvania Keys to Quality 

Pennsylvania's Promise for Children


The Early Childhood Education E-Newsletter is a project of the Pennsylvania Build Initiative, Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Public Welfare 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.
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