Harrisburg, PA – Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) announced the selection of regional Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs), created to improve the quality of and access to early learning services in the state and help families identify the best child care options that meet the needs of the child(ren) while offering connections to additional services, such as a child care subsidy.
“The Wolf administration believes that all children and families should have access to high-quality child care,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “The announcement of ELRCs is groundbreaking for Pennsylvania’s comprehensive early learning system. The department looks forward to supporting integrated, innovative agencies as they increase access to and continue quality-building for early learning programs.”
Developed as a result of stakeholder feedback, ELRCs consolidate the current work of Child Care Information Service Agencies and the Regional Keys to create an enhanced resource and referral system for communities seeking early learning services and supports.
Beginning July 1, 2018, ELRCs will provide a single point-of-contact for families, early learning service providers, and communities to gain information and access services that support high-quality child care and early learning programs. ELRCs will administer over $680 million in child care subsidy and supports. This state and federal investment in Pennsylvania’s working families enables parents to maintain employment while creating opportunities for the commonwealth’s children to develop and learn to their fullest potential.
Through the ELRC, child care professionals can obtain support in building quality outcomes for children by working with quality coaches to achieve Keystone STAR 3 and 4 status, building connections with community partners, and supporting children and families in accessing additional services, such as PA Pre-K Counts, Head Start, home-visiting, and Early Intervention.
All ELRCs will have a primary location in their designated region and most will have satellite offices. ELRCs will also partner with community organizations to meet families’ needs where they naturally congregate.
The following lead agencies have been selected:
Due to pending litigation, at this point in time, DHS’ selection for two regions — Region 5 (Allegheny County) and Region 18 (Philadelphia County) – is on hold. The two regions will continue operation with existing Child Care Information Service agencies and the Regional Key until the procurement process is completed.
For more information, visit http://www.dhs.pa.gov.