The Pennsylvania Key and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) launched the COVID-19 Health and Safety System Supports for Providers to establish easy access to technical assistance and resources related to health and safety practices in early childhood settings. To accomplish this, a Health and Safety Task Force was created, comprised of OCDEL staff and staff from nine different Pennsylvania Key teams.
The initial goal was to educate Task Force members by offering five webinars – along with five open discussion sessions immediately following the webinars – around health and safety concerns regarding child care. The five-webinar series was completed in August 2020 and included nine Pennsylvania Key teams who contributed, collaborated, advised, and shifted their scope of work to support OCDEL in this initiative.
Task Force members are now creating regional teams to help individual providers navigate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidance, Family Engagement, Implementation Considerations, Re-Imagining Early Childhood Education (ECE) Environments, and Supporting the Social Emotional Well-Being of ECE professionals and families. The Pennsylvania Key re-envisioned the role of the Assessment Team and leveraged eight other PA Key teams to support this important work and the model has served as an example for other initiatives under OCDEL’s purview.
The Pennsylvania Key, with OCDEL, intentionally developed a “no-wrong-door” approach so each team member receives the same training and can help answer provider questions.