Pennsylvania's Promise for Children  
Early Childhood Education Newsletter


Welcome to BUILD ECE News

February 16, 2011 

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

Public Review for Proposed Grant Application by Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for FFY 2011, Deadline April 18

The Department of Public Welfare (Department), Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is inviting public review and comment on the state’s proposed grant application for Federal Fiscal Year 2011 in accordance with Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (Pub. L. No 108-446) as amended in 2004.  The State is required to submit an application at least annually to receive federal funds under IDEA.  The state’s application describes the Department’s Early Intervention services for eligible infants and toddlers from birth to 3 years of age and their families, including the state policies, procedures, methods and descriptions as well as assurances and other provisions required by Part C of the IDEA.
Persons who would like to review the proposed application can access it through the PA Department of Welfare website and the PA Department of Public Welfare website.  It is also available via the PaTTAN website by selecting  Early Intervention on the left-hand side of the page, and selecting Proposed Part C Grant Application for FFY 2011 under the What's New section.   Hard copies may be requested by emailing or by calling 717-346-9320.

Written comments regarding the application can be directed to Ms. Kim Koteles, Office of Child Development and Early Learning, Bureau of Early Intervention Services, 333 Market Street, 6th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333.  If assistance is needed in reviewing the proposed application or submitting comments, please contact Ms. Koteles at 717-214-4129. 

The state application will be available starting February 18, 2011.  Comments will be accepted through April 18, 2011.

All comments will be reviewed and considered by the Department before submitting the grant application.


OCDEL's Call for lesson plan submissions for posting on The Standard Aligned System (SAS), Deadline March/April

Have a great lesson to share with the field? The Office of Child Development and Early Learning will be accepting Pre-K and K lesson plan submissions for posting on The Standard Aligned System (SAS). If you are interested in submitting lesson plans for consideration, please register to attend one Part 1 session and one Part 2 session of the following webinar trainings:

 SAS through the ECE Lens (Part 1)
March 9, 2011 (9 am- 11am)
 March 16, 2011 (1 pm- 3 pm)

SAS through the ECE Lens (Part 2)
 April 13, 2011 (9 am-11 am)
April 20, 2011  (1 pm-3 pm)

Registration for Act 48 credit can be done online through the PA Key training calendar or at the PDE Webinar website.  Webinars can be accessed on their presentation date. Submission requirements and address will be provided upon completion of this webinar series. Act 48 and PQAS hours are available. Questions about the webinars or about submission can be directed to Deb Wise at


Opportunity for low income families to earn money for their goals through the PA Family Savings Account (FSA), Deadline June 30

In partnership with agencies across the state, OCDEL is working with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to bring the benefits of asset-building to more low-income individuals and families through the PA Family Savings Account (FSA) initiative.

The PA Family Savings Account (FSA) program is a statewide savings and match funds program for the following goals: education/job training, small business needs, home repair, car purchase (for employment and training), and home purchase. Eligible individuals that commit to saving at least $40 a month up to $2,000 over a 13-36 month period will receive a dollar to dollar match in their savings.  The Program is one part of the Asset Initiative which is a collaborative effort across the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to bring the benefits of asset building to more low-income individuals and families.

The deadline to enroll is June 30, 2011.  The eligibility requirements and contact information is contained in following flyers for Eastern (pdf), Central (pdf) and Western (pdf) Pennsylvania. For this program individuals do not need to have an earned income (individuals can be on TANF or Social Security, for example, and still be eligible). 


Partnership to launch new inclusion initiative

Include Me… from the start is an exciting new initiative of The Arc of Pennsylvania in cooperation with the PA Department of Education.  Include Me…from the start focuses on including kindergarten and first grade students with significant disabilities into regular education classrooms.  The project has two main outcomes:  to include students with significant disabilities while implementing the child’s IEP into a regular classroom setting with supplementary aides and services, and to help build inclusion practices and capacity within the school districts of these students.  The initiative will begin for the 2011-2012 school year in 30 Pennsylvania school districts that were identified as having students with significant disabilities who are included less than 80% of their school day.  

For more information about Include Me… from the start, please contact Rita Cheskiewicz, Project Director, at  For additional information about Early Intervention supports and services, please visit the PA Department of Education website, or visit The Arc of Pennsylvania website. 


More OCDEL in Action

Trends and Reports

Strengthening Pennsylvania Businesses through Investments in Early Care and Education

A recent report, Strengthening Pennsylvania Businesses through Investments in Early Care and Education, published by America's Edge, highlights the role of early learning investments expanding Pennsylvania's economy and encourages support for quality early learning to strengthen the economy while creating lasting economic security.  The report outlines how Pennsylvania’s investment in quality early education generates twice as much new spending in the state, and if Pennsylvania provided enough funding to serve all children from birth to age four who would qualify, the investment would generate $4.6 billion of new money into the state, including $581 million in new sales in the state’s services sector, $431 million in news sales in real estate, and $328 million in new sales in Pennsylvania’s insurance and finance sectors, for example.

Details provide support for the immediate short-term economic gains, such as the increase in sales of local goods and services, the creation of new jobs, the cost savings and increased productivity for businesses, and the attraction of skilled employees into the Pennsylvania workforce.  Long term benefits highlight aspects such as a competitive hold in a global marketplace through improved hard and soft skills of employees, availability of skilled workers, and the long-term economic impact on businesses when early learning programs take cuts.

For additional details, please view the complete report at America's Edge website.


Report finds middle class children increasingly relying on public programs

Since the income gap between middle-class and wealthy families in the United States has grown by more than 50 percent since 1985, middle-class parents are increasingly relying on government-provided health and education programs to support their children, according to a new study, Declining Fortunes of Children in Middle-Class Families: Economic Inequality and Child Well-Being in the 21st Century (pdf), by the Foundation for Child Development.

Public education and health programs have stepped in to provide essential services for middle-class children that their parents cannot afford.  Public policies are increasingly important in providing an essential foundation for children’s future, particularly access to health insurance and Pre-Kindergarten, two indicators that researchers have identified as critical for children’s long-term well-being and success.  The study urges policymakers to not reduce funding for programs that children require to survive and thrive, and that if such cuts occur, children in the large middle-class may continue to suffer not only reduced family income, but also declining access to critical Pre-Kindergarten education and health care.

To access the study, please visit the Foundation for Child Development website.


More Trends and Reports

In The News

Rep. Platts recognized by Head Start

The National Head Start Association recently recognized U.S. Rep. Todd Platts, R-19, with its "Head Start Champion" award.

"Kids and families across America are grateful for Congressman Platts' support," said Executive Director Yasmina Vinci. "Head Start has a bipartisan base of support, because kids who have been through Head Start and Early Head Start are healthier, more academically accomplished, more likely to be employed, commit fewer crimes, and contribute more to society."

"With studies showing Head Start delivering a return on investment of up to seven-to-one, it's one of the most cost-effective and accountable efforts around. Congressman Platts knows now that Head Start delivers results for life, and Pennsylvania should be appreciative of that," Vinci stated.

To view the article, please visit The Sentinel website.


Op Ed:  Early education a must for Pennsylvania

Looking for a good job to support your family? Not so long ago all you needed was a high school diploma, a strong back and dedicated work ethic. Today, that is not the case. Employment opportunities now require increased knowledge of science, technology and engineering as well as competence in those more traditional “soft skills” such as communications, collaboration and critical thinking.

Unfortunately, study after study indicates that American students and workers are falling behind the rest of the world.

U.S. students now rank 21st out of 30 developed nations in science proficiency and 25th in math. Eighty-one percent of high school graduates are deficient in written communications and 70 percent are deficient in the areas of professionalism and critical thinking. Although these deficiencies decrease with a four-year degree, they still are seen by employers in almost 25 percent of young workers.

To read the entire article, please visit the Patriot-News website.

More In the News





Funding Opportunities

Bureau of Autism Services Announces the 2011 Family & Individual Mini-Grants, Deadline February 18

British Universities Summer School Program, Deadline March 2

Coming Soon:  Funding from the Pennsylvania Children’s Trust Fund for the prevention of child abuse and neglect, Deadline:  TBA



National Parks Service for Teachers, Interpretation and Education materials

Growing and Sustaining Parent Engagement: A Toolkit for Parents and Community Partners (pdf)

The Special Kids Network is working for you!

Free Fire & Burn Prevention Resources for Preschool Children & Their Families

Doodle for Google Competition, Deadline March 2 

What’s new on the Standards Aligned System?


Employment Opportunities

Assistant Professor in Early Childhood Education, Philadelphia (pdf)

Superintendent, The School District of the City of York




One Family's Story

Abby certainly knows how to be a student in a classroom. She knows how to follow directions, listen and be a part of a group. That is a big victory for her and for all of us as well.

Amy Q., sharing how Early Intervention has made an impact


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


PA Promise for Children on Facebook 

 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!


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February-April:  Institute for Family Professionals (IFP) Courses, Philadelphia
February 19:  Writing with Young Children Family Workshop, Quarryville
February 22:  Everyone Can Communicate - Partnership Training, Pittsburgh
February 26:  Delaware County Early Childhood Educators Association Early Educators Conference, Newtown Square.
February 26:  EPLC 2011 Regional Workshop for School Board Candidates, Norristown
March 5:  EPLC 2011 Regional Workshop for School Board Candidates, Catasauqua
March 8-10:  2011 ELO Conference, Promising Practices - Proven Strategies: Continuing the Legacy, Shaping the Future, Harrisburg
March 10-13:  Infant Massage Instructor Training, Philadelphia
March 12:  EPLC 2011 Regional Workshop for School Board Candidates, Monroeville
March 13-14:  2011 PA Early Childhood Public Policy Forum, Harrisburg
March 19:  EPLC 2011 Regional Workshop for School Board Candidates, Mechanicsburg
March 26:  Sounds like fun!  Developing Awareness of Letter Sounds Family Workshop, Quarryville
March 29:  PA One Book, Every Young Child Kick Off event, Harrisburg
April 2:  Painting for Prevention Collaborative Mural event, Indiana
April 6:  Kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month, Harrisburg
April 9:  Painting for Prevention Collaborative Mural event, York
April 9: Building Strong Home-School Connections Parent Workshop, Quarryville
April 10-16:  Week of the Young Child, Statewide
April 14:  Painting for Prevention Collaborative Mural event, Muncy
April 28-29:  2011 Meeting the Challenge: Educating Homeless Children in Pennsylvania statewide Conference Valley Forge
May 4-5:  Save the Date:  PHSA Spring Conference Standing Strong for Children & Families
May 5-7: Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC) Early Childhood Conference, Philadelphia
May 24:  Early Intervention Families' Night at The Washington Wild Things, Washington
May 25:  Save the Date:  United Way of Lancaster County’s Success By 6 Early Care and Education Recognition Event featuring Kurt Kondrich, Lancaster
July 19-21:  Save the Date:  A Brighter Tomorrow:  Cultivating Infants and Toddlers Social Emotional Development
November 17-19:  27th Annual International Conference on Young Children with Special Needs and Their Families, Maryland
November 30 - December 2:  Early Childhood Education Summit, State College



Visit Quality Early Learning in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Department of Education

Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare

Pennsylvania Key 

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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