The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) recognizes that after two-years of coping with the pandemic, life in the early childhood education (ECE) profession is nowhere near back to a “normal” state of operation. OCDEL sees and hears the ECE professionals who are learning to cope with their personal trauma from this global event while also supporting the children and families in the commonwealth. We know children are coming into the early childhood settings with unique challenges and needs. And as OCDEL works to develop and implement strategies to support the children, we also recognize the caring, committed adults deserve support.

It is with this in mind that OCDEL has invested in a tool to support Pennsylvania’s ECE professionals. Did you know well-being can be learned and strengthened? Scientific research is increasingly focused on practical methods to cultivate well-being. The data suggests that caring relationships, attention and self-regulation, and even meaning and purpose in life can all be strengthened through training.

We are excited to announce that all Pennsylvania early childhood professionals will have 2-years of free access to the Healthy Minds app, Healthy Minds@Work! Your access can be found on the Pennsylvania Key website where you will search for your Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) Region, click on the link and you will be directed to the login page for Healthy Minds. After that, you just download the app on your smart phone device and get started.

More great news, your ELRC colleagues have been using the Healthy Minds app, too and are ready to support you with Communities of Practice (CoP) in your region. Shortly after this launch, your ELRC’s will be sending out communications on how to participate in the CoP. These are short sessions (15-minutes) where you can engage in a mindful practice together and talk about successes and challenges in practicing. Coming together with other professionals in the field to support one another’s well-being is a powerful moment!

OCDEL recognizes this is just one of many tools and resources in your well-being journey and sincerely hopes you will take advantage of the opportunity and invest in yourself. Should you have any questions about the application, you can connect with the Healthy Minds team. There is a Help Center in the settings section of the app.

If you have questions regarding a CoP, please contact your regional ELRC and if you have questions about the overall program you can contact Dr. Marnie Aylesworth (marayl@pakeys.org) at the Pennsylvania Key.