Announcement ELRC 22-01

Subject: Systems Alignment to the Pennsylvania Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators (PA PSCECE)

To:

  • All Department of Human Services (DHS) Certified Child Care Providers;
  • Early Childhood Education Professionals;
  • Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs);
  • Career Pathway Verifiers and Career Pathway Staff at the Pennsylvania Key;
  • PQAS Approved Instructors;
  • Professional Development Organizations (PDOs); and
  • The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) staff.

From: 

Tracey Campanini
Deputy Secretary, Office of Child Development & Early Learning

Issue Date: Apr. 7, 2022
Effective Date: May 1, 2022
End Date: N/A

View full announcement as a PDF. >

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Purpose

To provide clarification on the implementation of the Pennsylvania Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators (PA PSCECE) including enhancements within the Professional Development (PD) Registry.

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Background

In response to the recent National context, Pennsylvania has adopted a new set of PA Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators (PA PSCECE). This set of standards and competencies replace the PA Core Knowledge Competencies (CKCs) and have been adopted from the national Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators. The PA PSCECE are the general knowledge and skills that educators need to know and be able to demonstrate. They are not the specific standards and competencies needed for specific professions and occupations within the early childhood field. This transition is timely and is informed by trends and shifts occurring nationally to ensure consistency and reliability in early childhood education (ECE). Following the release of the seminal 2015 Institute of Medicine Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation (IOM Report), the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) announced a collaborative initiative called Power to the Profession. This initiative established the first ever Unifying Framework for the early childhood profession with the goal of advancing ECE as a recognized professional field of practice.

The PA PSCECE are designed to increase the reliability, portability, and relevance of ECE professional development (PD) (including higher education programs) nationwide. These standards help to ensure Pennsylvania’s ECE professionals are prepared to support the growth and development of every child, birth through age eight, across the commonwealth.

The PA PSCECE include seven standards. The first six standards are adopted directly from the national standards; the seventh standard, Health, Safety and Mental Health, is Pennsylvania specific. In addition, the standards include resources that are Pennsylvania-specific and can be integrated into coursework and trainings. These PA PSCECE will guide Pennsylvania’s early learning PD system, including both educator preparation and non-certification programs in ECE; ongoing professional growth and development activities; and credentials.

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Discussion

Effective July 1, 2022, the PA PSCECE will replace the CKCs. This transition to the PA PSCECE has several system and policy implications related to Keystone STARS including the following PD Registry subsystems:

  • Effective May 1, 2022, updated PD courses to align with the PA PSCECE
  • Effective July 1, 2022, updated PD Plan (PDP)
  • Effective July 1, 2022, updated PD Self-Assessment using an updated Big Ideas Framework

Changes in the PD Registry

The PD Self-Assessment, using the Big Ideas Framework, has been updated with new self-assessment questions that align with the new PA PSCECE. In addition, the PD Plan has been updated to better represent Pennsylvania’s Early Childhood Education Career Pathway and ongoing PD needs for ECE professionals. Effective July 1,2022, both the PD Self-Assessment and PD Plan will be live in the PD Registry. All courses will also be updated to align with the PA PSCECE.

Preparing for the Transition to the PA PSCECE

In order for early learning providers to familiarize themselves with the PA PSECEC, OCDEL encourages staff to take the PA Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators course in the PD Registry. This course explores the new set of PA PSCECE while helping learners:

  • Understand why a new set of standards for early childhood educators is being implemented and how they were developed
  • Understand the main aspects and components of the PA Professional Standards
  • Understand the key shifts found throughout the PA Professional Standards

This course can be accessed in the PD Registry.

Information Specific for ECE Professionals

All trainings taken after July 31, 2022, will be aligned to the new PA PSCECE and will be reflected as such in the ECE professional’s learning record.

On July 1, 2022, the updated PD Self-Assessment and PDP will be available in the PD Registry. ECE Professionals should update both their PD Self-Assessment and PD Plan prior to their normal expiration date as in the current protocol.

  • PD Self-Assessments and PD Plans expiring before July 1, 2022, will be updated using the current CKCs.
  • PD Self-Assessments and PD Plans expiring after July 1, 2022, will be updated using the new PA PSCECE.

ECE Professionals can update both their PD Self-Assessment and PD Plan in the Registry at any time. ECE Professionals who wish to update their PD Self-Assessment and PD Plan using the new PA PSCECE can do so any time after July 1, 2022, regardless of when their current plans expire.

Information Specific for Pennsylvania’s Quality Assurance System (PQAS) Instructors:

On May 1, 2022, all courses will be set to expire on July 31, 2022. When the PD Registry enhancements go live on May 1, 2022, all PD events scheduled to take place after July 31, 2022, will be cancelled. PQAS Instructors should not schedule any events to take place after July 31, 2022, at this time.

Beginning May 1, 2022, PQAS Instructors will be able to revise/renew all courses to align with the new PA PSCECE. Once courses have been revised to reflect alignment with the PA PSCECE, PQAS Instructors can schedule events to occur past July 31, 2022.

NOTE: Courses not revised/renewed by July 31, 2022, will expire and PQAS Instructors will need to revise/renew their courses before any PD events can be scheduled.

Trainings for current and potential PQAS instructors will be provided on how to revise/renew courses to reflect the new PA PSCECE. These live webinars will be offered on the following dates and times.

Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2022
9am to 10am
Register via Zoom

Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2022
1pm to 2pm
Register via Zoom

Thursday, Apr. 28, 2022
9am to 10am
Register via Zoom

Thursday, Apr. 28, 2022
1pm to 2pm
Register via Zoom

These live webinars will be recorded for individuals who are not able to register and attend the April 2022 training dates. The recorded webinars can be accessed on the Pennsylvania Key website.

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Next Steps

Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs)

  • Review information with your staff.
  • Questions? Contact your Program Reps.

ECE Professionals and Educators

PQAS Instructors

  • Take the PD Course: PA Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators;
  • Register for one of the trainings that will take place on April 13, 2022 or April 28, 2022 as outlined above;
  • Do not schedule any PD events to take place, after July 31, 2022 until courses are aligned to the new PA PSCECE; and
  • Beginning May 1, 2022, revise/renew all your PD courses to align with the new PA PSCECE. Once courses have been revised/renewed to reflect
    alignment with the PA PSCECE, you can schedule events to occur after July 31, 2022.
  • Questions? Contact the PD Registry (registry@pakeys.org).

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View full announcement as a PDF. >