- June 28, 2021: Announcement C-21-04, Best Practices for Child Care Facilities Operating During the Novel Coronavirus
Announcement from Thursday, August 26, 2020
- Non-Licensed Part-Day School Age Child Care Program or Learning Pod Notification of Operation (PDF)
Information and Resources for Families Searching for School-Age Child Care Programs During COVID-19
- Families Who Need School-Aged Child Care During COVID-19 (PDF)
- Resources for Child Care and Education of School-Age Children due to COVID-19 (PDF)
- More Family Resources on PA’s Promise for Children
Information and Resources for School-Age Child Care Programs for the 2020-21 School Year
Licensed school-age child care (SACC) programs should be prepared to support students when local schools move to remote or blended learning throughout the 2020-21 school year due to the pandemic. Below are considerations for school-age programs regarding what schools and families may be expecting from SACC programs this school year.
Guidance for non-licensed community-based entities planning to care for or supervise school-age children during the 2020-2021 school year is available in this August 26 announcement (link coming soon).
- Have Wi-Fi available for students so they can complete online school work within the facility. Ensure there is enough bandwidth and internet speed to allow for all children to engage in online learning.
- Have staff in school-age classrooms who are comfortable with technology to facilitate and support online learning.
- Establish policies for children to bring and use technology in your facility (ex. laptops, iPads).
- Partner with families and share how you can support their child’s remote learning in your facility.
- Program staff should understand which academic activities are required, which are optional, and which have specific timing (such as for live-stream content) or equipment needs, and then build daily and weekly schedules to coordinate the students’ engagement with online learning or printed educational materials.
- Decide how you will group children and what spaces will be used for children who will be at your facility only 2-3 days per week due to their public, private or religious school implementing blended instruction.
- To minimize the spread of the disease, classes should include the same group of children and staff each day.
- Provide developmentally appropriate recreation and physical activities while maintaining distance between students and staff, as well as a balance of quiet and active periods and remote learning. Background noise should be kept to a minimum when students are online or engaged in other forms of remote learning.
- As public conversations around COVID-19 increase, children may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting ill. Staff play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. The CDC has created guidance to help adults talk to children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease.
- Children may have additional special needs that are not typically or easily addressed in a school-age setting, and providers may need to build partnerships with other community organizations to meet the needs of every child. There will need to be flexibility and significant communication on all sides to promote what is best for each student.
Public schools post their Health and Safety plans, which includes the types of instructional models they will be using, to their websites. However, due to the evolving pandemic, plans may change weekly. If you would like more information regarding changing policies, schedules, or opportunities to coordinate support for school-age children, contact schools directly and ask to speak with the Pandemic Coordinator. Links to the Health and Safety Plans submitted by public schools to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) are accessible through the PDE Health and Safety Plan Map.
Resources for School-Age Child Care Programs
- Distance Learning Resources from The Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center: This resource provides students and staff information about distance learning from both student and staff perspectives.
- Virtual Learning Guidance for Pre-K to Grade 3: This resource provides guidance for online learning for children Pre-K to Grade 3. It also provides online resources that support children’s learning.
- Summary of National Response to COVID-19 and Continuity of Education for Early Years: This resource is a compilation of national resources that can support children’s learning within the different learning domains. This resource is focused on Pre-K to Grade 3.
- Pennsylvania Key School Age Resources: The Pennsylvania Key provides resources to help support school age care programs.
- Promoting Positive Learning Climates Online and at Home: The Pennsylvania Department of Education has compiled resources educators and parents can use to maintain a positive learning climate while students are physically separated from their teachers and classmates due to the COVID-19 school closures. The resource list is organized by the three elements of a positive learning climate: safety, support, and social and emotional learning.
- Pennsylvania’s Learning Standards for Early Childhood: The standards are research-based according to age and development, and form the foundation for curriculum, assessment, instruction, and intervention within early care and education programs. The supportive practices within each learning standard may be relevant for staff providing care and education to students.
Additional School-Age Resources
- The Pennsylvania Key
- Afterschool Alliance
- Partnering with Schools to Re-Open
- Stating The 5 Needs to Support Schools
- “Tools to Build On: Creating constructive climates in out-of-school time” is a webinar series that covers how to bring out and build up supportive climates in afterschool and summer learning programs.
- Center for Disease Control (CDC)
- Center on Positive Behavioral Intervention Services (PBIS) – Creating a Behavior Teaching Matrix for Remote Instruction
- Center for Youth Wellness – Taking Care of You and Your Family: A Caregiver’s Toolkit
- Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) – Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Road Map for Re-opening School
- Edutopia – What makes a successful tutor?
- Institute of Education Sciences
- National AfterSchool Association
- National Center for Quality Afterschool (SEDL)
- Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE): Standards Aligned System (SAS) – Online Resources for Instruction including COVID-19 and teaching remotely
- Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network – Video: The Importance of Social Emotional Learning with the Reopening of Afterschool Programs
- Search Institute – Checklist Building Developmental Relationships During the COVID-19 Crisis
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Food and Nutrition Services – Find Meals When School Is Closed
- U.S. Department of Education