Little Actions. Big Impact!

All the tools you need to help your child learn and grow

from PA Promise in partnership with OCDEL

A few of my favorite teachers

Keystone STARS
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

They all began working here in their high school  and college years. They said they had remember the fun they had here and wanted to make learning fun for other children. 

Pam

Pam, the director at Sunshine Kids, Inc. shares a story of several her favorite teachers, who just happen to work in her early learning program!  

Ms Taylor & Ms Karissa are preschool teachers and Ms Serena & Ms Becca are toddler teachers at Sunshine Kids, Inc. In 1984, they all started here as toddlers. They all began working here in their high school  and college years. They said they had remember the fun they had here and wanted to make learning fun for other children. 

Ms Taylor was our young toddler teacher who was asked to move to our older toddler room to follow a child moving out of the young toddler room.  A year later she was asked again to move with this child into our Preschool room and she has been there ever since. She is now teaching this child's sibling!  She has such a way with the children, they all follow her about and now call her TT!  (short for terrific teacher?) 

Ms Karissa & Ms Serena had been asking to work here since starting high school and both were able to start on their 18th birthdays! 

Ms Becca came to do observations for her college class, enjoying it so much, she came back in the summer to work.  When she went back to college, her mom started to work here in our infant room.  She said Becca would talk about "her" kids so much that she felt like she knew them and wanted to be a part of the center. 

I could go on and on, but hopefully you can see why these are a few of my favorite teachers! 

Sunshine Kids Washington County

We're celebrating Ms. Dominique, teacher at Tiny Learners Early Learning Center!

Keystone STARS
Monday, May 7, 2018

One can usually find Ms. Dominique fully engaged during activities and always smiling when interacting with her class. 
 

Janay

Mom Janay shares: Ms. Dominique and Amaura enjoy spending time together in the classroom at Tiny Learners Early Learning Center. Ms. Dominique is special to Amaura as well as the other children because she is hands-on, attentive, patient and kind! One can usually find Ms. Dominique fully engaged during activities and always smiling when interacting with her class. 
 

Amaura and teacher

We're celebrating Tucker's teacher Kelly Knoll at Lewistown Children's Center!

Keystone STARS
Friday, May 4, 2018

Kelly Noll is such a positive, patience, and energetic person.

Natalie

My son, Tucker, attends child care at Lewistown Children's Center. He has had a favorite teacher since he entered preschool two years ago.

Kelly Noll is such a positive, patience, and energetic person. All of the kids always look forward to seeing her and she is such a great influence on the children. My son had some behavior issues after we had a baby and Kelly helped to get him back on track. He also would not be potty trained without her patience and dedication. She is truly one of a kind!

Tucker and his teacher

We're celebrating Kelly Jo Hockenberry, teacher at Lewistown Children's Center!

Keystone STARS
Friday, May 4, 2018

Kelly Jo is always so caring and positive. She does her best to make sure my daughter, Luella, is taken care of the best she can.

Natalie

My daughter is enrolled in child care at the Lewistown Children's Center. She is only 8 months, but she has had a favorite teacher for quite some time now and it shows.

She adores Kelly Jo Hockenberry. Kelly Jo is always so caring and positive. She does her best to make sure my daughter, Luella, is taken care of the best she can. Luella kicks her feet and reaches her arms out for Kelly Jo as soon as she sees her. It makes a Mommy feel wonderful when she can bring her baby to school and have her little one be just as excited to see a teacher as she is when Mommy picks her up.

Luella and Ms. Kelly Jo

We're celebrating Miss Tabby from Sunshine Kids in Eighty-Four, PA

Keystone STARS
Friday, May 4, 2018

This sort of positive attitude and support does not go overlooked.  We are so appreciative of the positive influences you have instilled in our young son.  

Myranda

Levi is 21 months old and is a full-time daycare-attending toddler.  Unlike most daycare students, he is quite shy and sometimes becomes very upset when I turn him over to the teachers for the day.  However when Miss Tabby is there in the morning to greet Levi, my heart melts and I know everything will be okay! 

Her and Levi have a special bond, and his eyes light up when he sees her.  He heads straight for her, and even though its early in the morning, she greets him with the same enthusiasm.  Though I don't see their daily interaction, I know she cares for him, as she does all of her students, in a sense where she can recall every detail about his day, the good parts, the bad parts, how she helped calm him, how she loves when he cuddles with her during nap time, how she thinks she heard a few new words from him, describing his love for finger painting, singing, and dancing, etc, almost as if he is one of her own. 

I want her, and her colleagues at Sunshine Kids, to know this sort of positive attitude and support does not go overlooked.  We are so appreciative of the positive influences you have instilled in our young son.  

Levi and his teacher Ms. Tabby

We're celebrating Miss Melissa, teacher at Westmoreland County Community College, Campus Children's Center!

PA Pre-K Counts
Friday, May 4, 2018

Catalina has mentioned on numerous occasions how much she loves Miss Melissa.

Sarah

Today my daughter graduated preschool. I can honestly say that every teacher at this preschool is absolutely amazing but I know her favorite is Miss Melissa. Every day she had preschool she would draw her teachers pictures and Miss Melissa told us she puts them on her fridge at home and keeps all of her students pictures that she receives.

The teachers always have a smile on their face and you can tell they love their jobs and love being there everyday. I just cannot say enough about this place. Catalina has mentioned on numerous occasions how much she loves Miss Melissa.

Catalina and her teachers

We're celebrating Kelly Knoll, teacher at Lewistown Children's Center!

PA Pre-K Counts
Friday, May 4, 2018

Miss Kelly treats every child as her own and they absolutely love her.

Angelica

Emiliya's mom shares:

Since the first day my daughter Emiliya started preschool at the Lewistown Children's Center she has talked nonstop about Miss Kelly. She is the first person that she runs up to at the beginning of the school day and the last person she hugs before leaving.

Miss Kelly treats every child as her own and they absolutely love her. I myself as a mother feel completely comfortable leaving my daughter in her care any day.

Emiliya with her teacher

We're celebrating Ms. Dames, teacher at PA Pre-K Counts in Houston, PA!

PA Pre-K Counts
Friday, May 4, 2018

I could not have asked for a better person to introduce Maddy to the academic world.

Jessica

Maddy's mom, Jessica, shares:

Maddy loves her teacher, Ms. Dames, and I’m with Maddy. Ms. Dames is phenomenal. She encourages Maddy and supports her. She recognizes Maddy’s strength and interests and runs with them. She has helped tremendously as her teacher. I have lost count how many times Ms. Dames has carried a crying 3-4 year old into class, talking calmly to them to help ease their fear of leaving mom or dad-- Maddy included.

My daughter has been sick more than once and Ms. Dames takes it in stride, calming her and taking care of her until we can get her. Ms. Dames genuinely cares. You can see it in every interaction she has with the kids and their parents. I could not have asked for a better person to introduce Maddy to the academic world. I'm so thankful Maddy has had a teacher early on who cared so much for her and encouraged her like she has.

Thank you so much, Ms. Dames!

#ThankATeacher

Maddy and her teacher, Ms. Dames

Impacting families in their region

Child Care Works
Monday, January 29, 2018

I’m amazed how much this program could change a family’s life in different ways and how beneficial it is for parents and children.

Lehigh County CCIS Staff

The Lehigh County Child Care Information Services (CCIS) office shares how access to quality early learning opportunities and subsidy services impacts families in the region.

  • A caller would contact the CCIS on a regular basis to ask about the status of the Wait List. At the time the Wait List was very long. Each time she would call she sounded tired and a little desperate and would explain that she was caring for her grandchildren so her daughter could go to work. One day, a client came into the CCIS to see if there was another way she could get assistance for Child Care while she was on the waiting list. She was very sad but determined to do whatever she needed to do to get the help. It turned out that she was the daughter of the woman who had been calling regularly asking about the Wait List. The client spoke about her mother and how sick she was. Before giving her the names of centers who provide scholarships, her case was pulled up and the client had received funding that same day! The clients reaction was one that I would never forget. At first the client did not believe it, then she started crying in a way that showed how much she needed the help. The client later disclosed her mother was going to have surgery for brain cancer, it was a hard and sad situation and no one was able to help her with the children. There were no words to describe how thankful and emotional she was. I had never experienced something like that in my entire life and my heart and soul were touched in an indescribable way. I’m amazed how much this program could change a family’s life in different ways and how beneficial it is for parents and children.
  • Anabel was so happy to learn about the subsidized child care program because now she is able to afford quality child care for her children and childcare is not draining her pocket anymore. She was also happy because of a fast wait list and was overall grateful for our services and other resources that we were able to refer to her.
  • Just this morning Kandi came to discuss how to keep her case open. Having the option to have a “plan” and not lose her child care funding has been a blessing for her. One child will be re-enrolling today and her other child will remain in suspension waiting for summer.

Overcoming struggles

PA Pre-K Counts
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Having that structured classroom setting is helping our son adapt to having to focus on the task at hand, which is a challenge.

Halifax PA Pre-K Counts has impacted our family in a very helping way. Our son has learned some very valuable lessons that have come from someone other than Mom and Dad. He loves to read books as of this year, he will sit down with us and tell us a story based off the pictures in the book. Having that structured classroom setting is helping our son adapt to having to focus on the task at hand, which is a challenge. 

I feel since the beginning of the year he has learned to handle situations better, and not throw a fit if it doesn’t go his way. His teachers help him to overcome whatever struggle he is having and find other ways to deal with them.

PreK boy stacking cups

Concerned about your child’s development?

Call Pennsylvania’s CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288 for information about your child’s development and connecting to Early Intervention services in Pennsylvania.

Call Child Care Works Helpline at 1-877-4-PA-KIDS (1-877-472-5437) for information about finding, paying for and other concerns related to child care.

Learn more about these Helplines