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1 A Call to Advocacy: Pennsylvania’s Early Childhood Initiatives Office of Child Development and Early Learning 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "1 A Call to Advocacy: Pennsylvania’s Early Childhood Initiatives Office of Child Development and Early Learning 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 A Call to Advocacy: Pennsylvania’s Early Childhood Initiatives Office of Child Development and Early Learning 2008

2 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 2 Why advocate? Advance the field Federal and state funding plays a major role in early childhood education in PA Federal: Head Start, Child Care Development Block Grant State: Head Start Supplemental, Full Day Kindergarten Accountability Block Grant, STARS, PA Pre-K Counts Better serve children and families Support a quality early education continuum You have a unique perspective

3 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 3 Your voice matters because You have expertise in ECE You have experiences that matter to legislators You are the future of ECE You vote!!

4 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 4 What are you advocating for? Increased public recognition that quality early learning matters Increased public investment in quality early learning Increased support for building a quality early education continuum

5 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 5 ECE in Pennsylvania: OCDEL 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. The office is a joint initiative between the Departments of Education and Public Welfare. OCDEL’s focus in the upcoming year will be to build and strengthen a quality early education continuum for children and families.

6 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 6 Our Programs Child Care Certification Child Care Works Early Intervention – Birth to Five Family Support Programs: Children’s Trust Fund, Nurse Family Partnership and Parent-Child Home Program Full-Day Kindergarten Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program Keystone STARS/ PA Early Learning Keys to Quality Pre-Kindergarten Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Public-Private Partnership

7 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 7 Pennsylvania is making progress Pennsylvania has made great progress in serving young children through early education initiatives such as Accountability Block Grants, Keystone STARS, Early Intervention and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance program, PA Pre-K Counts but it’s just the start. Our enrollment in quality programs for preschoolers has increased from 18% in to 35% in

8 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 8 But …we still face challenges Children in 70 percent of PA’s counties are at moderate to high risk of school failure More than one-third of Pennsylvania’s children under the age of five live in low-income families

9 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 9 Building a quality early education continuum OCDEL’s goal: a seamless system of quality early education from birth – age 5 What it takes: 1. Quality program design 2. Quality implementation & coordination 3. Meeting the diverse needs of families 4. Maximizing resources 5. Documenting positive impact and building accountability into the program

10 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future OCDEL Moving Ahead in

11 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 11 Key programs to address Keystone STARS Child Care Works Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Early Intervention Nurse Family Partnership

12 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 12 Highlight: Keystone STARS A reliable indicator of quality child care and demonstrates support for children’s early learning and development. Over 170,000 children will be served in 2008 Funding to help participating programs move up through the STARS Ladder

13 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 13 Highlight: Child Care Works Supports parents who are working hard to provide for their families and gives children the opportunity to participate in an early childhood program. Serve an additional 2600 children and their families for a total of over 235,000 per year Provide families with young children with the ability to search for child care information on the web

14 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 14 Highlight: Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts A pre-kindergarten program currently serving over 11, and 4-year olds. The program supports quality half- (2.5 hours) and full-day (five hours) pre- kindergarten in schools, Head Start, child care centers, group child care homes and licensed nursery schools during the school year. All children in participating communities age three until they enter kindergarten are eligible. Focus on children at risk of academic failure due to income, special needs, language, or other issue.

15 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 15 Highlight: Early Intervention Enhances family/caregiver relationships with children building on their strengths, and strives to maximize all the experiences, opportunities, and resources within the activities of daily living unique to each family. Assures that all eligible children from birth to five with developmental delays receive services and supports that maximize their development so they achieve success in early education settings

16 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 16 Highlight: Pennsylvania Nurse Family Partnership - NFP Registered nurses work with the expectant mothers to ensure a healthy pregnancy, to engage in activities with the baby that will promote healthy development, and to make plans for the future. Prepares parents to provide a stable and nurturing home environment for their child where they are the child’s first teacher

17 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 17 What you can do Meet your legislators Write your legislators Start a buzz on campus Hold a “Be a Kid Again” event

18 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 18 How to meet your legislators Letters are good, but meeting is better! Meet in their district office Go with a classmate or advocate Prepare ahead of time – script out Be pleasant Get their position on ECE If they support the Governor’s budget, ask them to write their leadership If they don’t, ask why? Follow up

19 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 19 Be a Kid Again Host an event on campus Plan a fun “kid activity” that students can do to relieve stress, have fun Educate through play! Get signatures Invite campus or local media

20 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 20 You’ve got help Student advocacy toolkit Contact your Early Childhood Community Engagement Group – Groups.aspx Groups.aspx Local AEYCs -

21 Because every child is Pennsylvania’s future 21 Questions for discussion What types of activities would you plan for Week of the Young Child – April 13-19, 2008? How do you measure quality in early childhood education? As students of child development and early childhood education, what unique perspective do you have that you can share with legislators? If you had 3 minutes to explain to a legislator or a decision maker why building a quality early learning continuum is important, what would you say? What other groups or individuals might assist you in building support and/or awareness of early childhood education?


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