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office of child development and early learning

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OCDEL provided the following guidance to Early Intervention Providers today:\

“During the COVID-19 emergency face to face Infant Toddler Early Intervention services should be suspended. The duration of the suspension will be in line with the closure of the school districts within each community. The Department of Human Services along with the Office of Child Development and Early Learning will be issuing guidance regarding tele practices or virtual services for Infant Toddler Early Intervention service providers in the near future. Service coordinators should attempt to contact families to notify them of these changes.”

To:             All LEAs

From:
Secretary Pedro A. Rivera, Department of Education
Secretary Teresa D. Miller, Department of Human Services

Date:         December 2, 2019

Subject:     Pennsylvania Family Engagement Birth through College, Career, Community Ready Framework

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is pleased to unveil the Pennsylvania Family Engagement Birth through College, Career, Community Ready Framework.

This “framework” is a collaborative initiative between PDE’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), and includes family engagement resources and information for local education agencies (LEAs) aligned with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The framework is a tool to guide learning communities in the implementation of effective practices, use of shared language, and application of a family engagement continuum for families across their child’s educational lifespan.

  • Purpose: Effective family engagement, beginning with early learning programs through K12, are important to supporting a child’s learning and development. The framework fosters a clear path and identifies a set of common standards for how learning communities can plan and implement family engagement practice.
  • Audience: Many members of Pennsylvania’s learning communities can employ this framework. A learning community is defined as programs and schools to which PDE, including the OCDEL and OESE, provide funding, guidance, and monitoring. It also includes LEAs, such as school districts and associated community partners.
  • Goal: Research has demonstrated that regardless of socioeconomic background, when schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children perform better academically, enjoy school more, remain in school longer, and have better long-term outcomes such as higher graduation rates and improved postsecondary educational attainment and career readiness.

Additionally, PDE is collaborating with the Mid Atlantic Equity Consortium (MAEC) to launch a new state family engagement center — the Collaborative Action for Family Engagement Center (CAFE) — which is an online resource to provide opportunities for collaboration, learning, and to promote high-impact, culturally responsive family engagement. CAFE will serve diverse families who reside in Pennsylvania. More information on CAFE is forthcoming.

More information on family engagement and the framework can be found on PDE’s website.

RCPA would like to congratulate Jonathan Rubin and Amy Grippi on their new positions with the Department of Human Services. We look forward to collaborating in the future, to continue improving the quality of life for our children across the Commonwealth.


(From DHS Secretary Teresa Miller)

DHS Staffing Update

I am excited to announce that Jonathan (Jon) Rubin will join the Department of Human Services as the Office of Children, Youth, and Families’ Deputy Secretary. Jon has led Bucks County’s Housing and Human Services division since 2014, overseeing the county’s child welfare agency, behavioral and developmental health programs, drug and alcohol services, mental health and developmental programs, housing services, and Area Agency on Aging.  As director, Jon has focused on creating a more integrated approach to Housing and Human Services’ work, encouraging two-generation, whole-family focuses and facilitating public-private partnerships and generative program development.

Jon started his career spending 15 years with the Bucks County Children & Youth Social Services agency, beginning as a social worker and eventually serving four years as a child protective services manager. He has also worked to strengthen the child welfare system on a state level, working at the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center, providing technical assistance and training to children and youth agencies around Pennsylvania, and later with Deloitte as a senior consultant and child welfare subject matter expert, helping implement the Child Welfare Information Solution project. Jon has also worked at the national level supporting child welfare systems across the country when he served as an Organizational Effectiveness Consultant for the American Public Human Services Association.

Jon will join DHS on November 4. At that point, Amy Grippi will transition into a new role, Child Services Executive Director, in the Secretary’s Office. This role will focus on synthesizing initiatives and priorities around child services and create a stronger bridge between OCYF and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning. Amy will be focused on strengthening services provided to children around Pennsylvania, including our work to implement the enterprise case management system and Family First, increasing the incorporation of predictive analytics and trend analyses through improved data collection, and other initiatives.

I think this new role will be an invaluable asset to help enhance and support the work done at DHS and at the county level, and I know Amy’s skills and experience will help us do more to support children and families around Pennsylvania.

I want to thank Amy for her tireless work and leadership as OCYF’s Acting Deputy Secretary over the last few months, and I am so excited to welcome Jon to the agency. I look forward to seeing the good work that DHS and OCYF will accomplish as we move forward.

Thank you,
Secretary Teresa Miller

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is offering two opportunities to attend a free conference in Harrisburg and in Scranton this November. The conference is open to stakeholders who focus on services for prenatal through third grade.

The conference will be held in:

*Act 48, PQAS, and Infant/Toddler credits are offered.

In an effort to promote “Government that Works,” the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has made it a priority to integrate early childhood education services, so that providers can offer multiple OCDEL services to families without duplicating paperwork, and families can more easily access the services they need. To lead and promote this approach to improving and streamlining bureaucratic and operational challenges faced by providers and families, OCDEL has produced a short video overview with Deputy Secretary Michelle Figlar.

Providers are also being asked to share their experiences with OCDEL programs to help shape this work. It is critical for the RCPA Children’s Steering Committee and work groups to hear how OCDEL programs work for providers and families. Input from providers of early childhood care will significantly inform and influence this work. For RCPA members, it will be vital that providers of early childhood mental health, behavioral consultation, autism, and pediatric rehabilitation services, that need to be delivered in a coordinated and collaborative manner, help to inform this process. RCPA members who serve young children are encouraged to complete a short survey by Monday, February 8. The survey includes five pages of questions and should take an average of five minutes to complete. For more information, visit the PA Keys website.

OCDEL has made stakeholder engagement one of its priorities to assure high quality services for children and families. For a listing of all open stakeholder engagement opportunities, please visit the PA Keys website.