2022 Pennsylvania’s Equity in Early Childhood Education (ECE) Champion Awards 

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is honored to recognize the work of the early childhood education (ECE) programs and professionals on behalf of Pennsylvania children and their families through embracing diversity and full inclusion as strengths, upholding fundamental principles of fairness and justice, and working to eliminate structural inequities that limit equitable learning opportunities. Learn more about this award and about ECE equity in Pennsylvania. >

2022 Gold Level Recipients


Bright Beginnings Education Center, Inc.

Oxford, PA | Visit their site. >

Highlighted Equitable Practices: Meets the critical early care needs of both low-income and English Language Learner families (mainly Hispanic/Latino) children through practices that include bi-lingual staff who translates information to Spanish-speaking families; placing emphasis on providing leadership roles for Hispanic staff members, and providing tuition assistance, support workshops, etc. to help staff members whose first language is not English to receive assistance in advancing within their career; and utilizing various funding sources to integrate and coordinate comprehensive services within the community allowing Bright Beginnings Education Center, Inc. to meet the needs of families and children in a seamless manner.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, PA | Visit their site. >

Highlighted Equitable Practices: Hired a Quality Regulations & Evaluations Manager to ensure that programs meet and exceed all Chapter 3270 regulations and continue to climb through the Quality Rating Improvement System Keystone STARS to reach a STAR 4 rating; Created a Great Scholars scholarship fund that increases the 200% federal poverty income levels to an additional $10,000 per family size for child care scholarships within the program; Participate in the National Youth Outcomes Initiatives (NYOI) that scores the organization across the nation with other Clubhouses based on youth experience; Acknowledges and celebrates holidays from around the world, display and share books from a diverse range of authors and enjoy and emulate music and art from as many traditions as possible; Conducts outreach in neighborhoods with high concentrations of immigrants and people of color and encourages people representative of those communities to apply for employment opportunities; Provide training weeks three times a year where staff come together for organization-wide training which cover topics such as unconscious bias; Adoption of equity and advocacy as a pillar in the 3-year strategic plan; Partners with organizations and school districts that strengthen their mission and community, and have developed partnerships with employers in emerging fields in the Pittsburgh region to offer internships and career captures for the youth served.



CrossPoint Early Learning Center

Harrisburg, PA | Visit their site. >

Highlighted Equitable Practices: Provides individual instruction, differentiated lessons, and meeting each child exactly where they are by focusing on their strengths and gently encouraging and guiding them through their academic learning as well as social and emotional development; English speaking teachers learn and teach home languages that exist within the classroom community; Use of the Ages and Stages Developmental Assessments and the Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment to guide the curriculum and individualized learning plan for each student; Hosting monthly staff meetings where all staff discusses the center, shares concerns, answers questions, and discusses how to improve the quality of care to all of the children; Collaborate with other social service agencies and employment of a PBIS Coach and Social Emotional Educator.

La Scuola d’Italia Galileo Galilei

Pittsburgh, PA | Visit their site .>

Highlighted Equitable Practices: Employment of fully immersive, multi-lingual instruction for its students in Italian, Spanish, French, Mandarin, and other languages; Actively recruits teachers from diverse populations through targeted job announcements, partnerships with local and foreign universities, and collaborations with other non-profit organizations that support workforce development, and it ensures that those who are entering its team share its commitment to these values through the onboarding process; Staff can communicate with children and families in their native or preferred language(s) with teachers and administrators who are fluent in English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Arabic, Farsi, Portuguese Japanese, and Dutch and provides translated documents, with the translators when needed; Use of Ages and Stages to identify children who may need additional evaluation and/or intervention, as well as ECERS, ITERS, and SACERS and CLASS tools; enrollment of children from diverse backgrounds, language speakers, foreign nationals, those with disabilities and varied religious beliefs; The adoption of policies and practices that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of one’s membership in a protected class; Conducting regular training on the prevention and the remediation of any potential discriminatory, harassing, or retaliatory acts.



Life Span School & Daycare

Quakertown, PA | Visit their site. >

Highlighted Equitable Practices: Employment of several bilingual staff; Use of Talking Points app to have conversations and conferences with families; Core documents are translated with help from the local school district; Collaboration with several community partners and school district within the community to support families.

YWCA Lancaster YWonderful Kids

Lancaster, PA | Visit their site. >

Highlighted Equitable Practices: Launched Center for Racial and Gender Equity (CRGE) to create the staff-led Diversity Education Committee who identified a need for more cultural competence in the childcare programs by considering what aspects of the mission they could enhance; Creation of an anti-bias curriculum for students; Engagement with external partners when possible to bring more educational opportunities to students; Discussing lesson ideas and to empower staff to understand their own bias; Creation of more inclusive reading materials so students can see themselves reflected in the stories they read at school.



YWCA Tri-County Area

Pottstown, PA | Visit their website. >

Highlighted Equitable Practices: Provides regular, intentional professional development that provides time and space to develop a learning community among staff, giving teachers learning opportunities to understand equity issues in the classroom; Adoption of Conscious Discipline as a primary social/emotional learning tool so teachers use its strategies, along with trauma-informed strategies, to support children’s learning; Introduction of Persona Dolls to support communication surrounding equity for children; Working with the three coaches in the Early Education Center – infant/toddler, preschool, and school age – teachers evaluate their skills and identify which skills are most needed to change behaviors in the classroom; Use of the Program Administrative Scale to evaluate effectiveness, and add individual teacher growth and development activities within the center-wide Continuous Improvement Plan.

2022 Silver Level Recipients

2022 Bronze Level Recipients

Rutledge Institute for Early Childhood Education
California, PA

The Village of FPC (California, PA)
California, PA

Pinebrook Family Answers (formerly Unconditional Child Care)
Allentown, PA

Kateryna Rodriguez
Philadelphia, PA

Damaris Alvarado-Rodriguez
Philadelphia, PA

Jessie Bucci
New Castle, PA

Little Angel’s Daycare
Allentown PA

Cindy Shafer’s Child Care
Confluence, PA

Innovative Learning Center of Philadelphia LLC
Philadelphia, PA

Creative Little Hands Preschool
Fairless Hills, PA

Woodlands Academy of Early Learning
Leesport, PA

Sholypop Daycare
Philadelphia, PA

2022 Honorable Mentions

The Children’s Ark at St. George’s, Ardmore, PA
Amazing Creations Child Development 2, Philadelphia, PA
Amazing Creations Child Development, Philadelphia, PA
Multicultural Community Resource Center (MCRC), Erie, PA
Melissa Judy, Connellsville, PA
Learning My Way Montessori, Philadelphia, PA
Harambee Hope Learning Center FCCH, Philadelphia, PA
Different Expectations Educational Services, Philadelphia, PA
Kiddie Academy of Royersford, PA, Royersford, PA
Johanna M Jimenez Child Care, Philadelphia, PA
Grand Beginnings Children’s Center, Inc., Indiana, PA
The Growing Garden Child Care Center, LLC, Tarentum, PA
Millcreek Township Child Development, Erie, PA
On Time Daycare Inc., Philadelphia, PA
Jolly Toddlers Early Education Center Pre-School & Kindergarten, Southampton, PA
Nessa’s Small Steps Child Care, Albrightsville, PA
Creative Play Day School, Toughkenamon, PA
Future Scholars Daycare, Philadelphia, PA
Tiffany’s Grow and Glow Family Childcare, Philadelphia, PA
Babies N Motion Day Care Center, Reading, PA
Starry Knights Learning Center, Mountaintop, PA
AMR Learning Play Zone, Philadelphia, PA