Little Actions. Big Impact!

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

from PA Promise in partnership with OCDEL

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

Alexis couldn't wait for the next day

PA Pre-K Counts
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

I look forward to my youngest daughter attending PA Pre-K Counts as well.

When the school year started, and Alexis began PA Pre-K Counts at Halifax Area School District, I had my reservations. I was afraid that she wouldn't respond well, and that she wasn't prepared for it. She had spent the summer so excited about starting school, and I didn't want to see her heart broken by not being ready.

She was so happy when she got off the bus the first day, and couldn't wait to go the next day. There were a few hiccups along the way, but she has grown by leaps and bounds.

Mrs Masser has been amazing, and more than helpful along the way. Alexis loves her teacher, and I have no trouble getting her ready to go to school.

I am beyond pleased, and look forward to my youngest daughter attending PA Pre-K Counts as well.

preschool girl playing at table

Maria is more than ready for Kindergarten

PA Pre-K Counts
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Being in the program has been a beneficial experience for Maria. It has nurtured development in various areas.

Chad and Chandra B.

Our daughter Maria is in her second year of the PA Pre-K Counts program through the Halifax Area School District. Being in the program has been a beneficial experience for her. It has nurtured development in various areas such as: social/emotional, language arts, cognitive, interpersonal, self-help skills, math, science/social studies concepts and literacy. For example, we have seen an increase in letter, sound, number, and color recognition, as well as, a high interest in reading and writing. She has “written” (dictated) and illustrated a few books. The current book she is writing she is called “The Three Little Kittens and the Big Bad Dog.”  

We have appreciated this opportunity for her to attend because we feel that preschool is the first introduction to education and this experience will assist her to  reach her fullest learning potential. She will be more than ready for Kindergarten!

Preschooler reading a book

Helping her as she grows

PA Pre-K Counts
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

We absolutely love everything about the PA Pre-K Counts Program including the teachers.

Andrew and Maria K.

We could not be any happier with the PA Pre-K Counts Program, our daughter has learned so much already.  As a new four-year-old, she is already writing her name, knows all the letters of the alphabet, and is also learning how to spell words like Mommy and Daddy. Not only is she learning things such as her letters and numbers, she is also learning social skills that are going to help her as she grows. 

Our daughter loves going to school and is always so excited to tell us what she learned. 

We absolutely love everything about the PA Pre-K Counts Program including the teachers, you can tell they truly love what they are doing.

Young preschool girl writing

Above and Beyond

Keystone STARS & Certification
Friday, January 5, 2018

In my opinion Chris went above and beyond what was expected. His love and concern for children was evident in the way he handled a tough situation.

Nancy S.

Nancy Supinsky, owner of Mother Goose and Friends Learning Center, shares how Certification Rep, Chris Loos, helped ensure the safety of her staff and the children in their care during an unexpected event.

I wanted to take a few minutes to write concerning our current inspector Chris Loos. 

On November 14 of this year, we were in a scary position at our center. The building inspector of Elizabeth Township decided to close our center down. No notice, nothing. We have 34 families at Mother Goose in Elizabeth and all of a sudden we were shut down with no place to go. 

The Central Fire Hall in Elizabeth told us we were welcome there , but I had no idea how to move all my families there, or what the licensing department rules were. 

On the 15th I called Mr. Loos in a panic. He told me about special emergency conditions and would check to see if we qualified. He called me back immediately and told me what I needed to do and what to take with me to the fire hall. 

I am sure these inspectors are extremely busy, but Chris put everything on hold to help us. He came to the fire hall, measured the space, checked all the safety rules, talked to the kids and the staff to make sure they were as comfortable as possible. 

Make no mistake about it, IF MR. LOOS HAD NOT HELPED ME, I WOULD BE OUT OF BUSINESS TODAY, and 34 families would have no place to go for some time. In my opinion Chris went above and beyond what was expected. His love and concern for children was evident in the way he handled a tough situation. 

I wish for Mr. Loos God's Blessing always and many, many thanks for his efforts in helping me to save my business. 

How independent am I? How strong? How resilient?

Keystone STARS
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

I cannot thank Keystone STARS and Kinder Care enough for being such an important part of my support group as I continue to grow, and as I continue to share my experiences with others.

Jacqueline D.

How independent am I? How strong? How resilient? And how much can I grow into the person that I want to be; the mother, the sister, the daughter, the aunt, the employee, the student, the sponsor, and the sponsee? How can I do all of this on my own?

The truth is I am an independent, strong, resilient, single mother that is grounded in my recovery, but without SUPPORT, I would not be where I am. I am beyond grateful for the Keystone STARS Kinder Care for being an integral part of that support. I have trusted Kinder Care with my daughter Gianna the past couple of years, and that trust has paid off because my daughter had endured a great tragedy before she came into Kinder Care.

Her father passed away when she was just a baby. The difficulty of processing such a loss at such a young age is nearly impossible. The difficulty for me to not be there by my daughter’s side every moment was unspeakable. However, to be the best mother that I can be; I had to work hard at my job, in my recovery, and in doing so I had to put Gianna in child care. This decision was one of the hardest and most terrifying decisions of my life. I never wanted to leave her side. But I am glad that I did. And I am so truly grateful I chose Kinder Care. 

This decision not only helped me logistically, enabling me to work and go to meetings, and be a part of the community, functioning as a healthy, contributing member, but the invaluable help, the support, in grounding my daughter. She needed to be around other children, and caring, empathic adults that were truly invested in seeing her grow. Kinder Care was the best choice I could have made. I will be eternally grateful for Keystone STARS Kinder Care.

My story is long, and far too often very sad and very tragic at times. I was raised by a single mother that while flawed; I now understand that she did the best that she could. I have seen addiction up close and personal for most of my life. I just turned 40 years old, and I am five years clean and sober. The road was littered with poor choices, self-pity, excuses, rationalizations, and justifications. But not any more. I do not regret the painful, ugly experiences that I have had to endure throughout my life, because they have helped mold me into the woman that I am. The details are excruciating, so I won’t share them here in this testimonial. What I will share is that today, I am better than I have ever been in my life.

I am a single mother of three children, and I am often responsible for the care of my niece. My family, and many of my friends growing up have been adversely affected by addiction in horrifying ways that are, sadly, far too common with many other families and friends. I, myself have seen the inside of prisons, rehabs, courtrooms, and the streets in a way only a true addict can know. But these past five years I have seen the other side of those horrors. The hope, the light, the beauty of recovery. The spiritual connection of a mother getting her child back. The overwhelming emotional perspective of seeing families be put back together, people putting their lives back together, and getting to know a new freedom that recovery can provide.

I work in the field as well. I work at a facility that supports women and children that are suffering in myriad ways all stemming rom addiction. I can see clearly that without supports, these families would be lost. I can see clearly in the twelve step meetings that I attend that without supports there would be no recovery. I can see clearly that I have much to give, to share, to supports others both in my recovery, and in my profession. I am going back to school to follow through with my education, and so I can become a licensed counselor and be able to help even more. I can see clearly that I have had incredible supports to get this far. I have many people to thank, but right now I can only express my gratitude for Keystone STARS Kinder Care. This support has enabled me to work as hard as I can to get healthy, and most importantly; you have helped my daughter Gianna become more grounded and open and kind. The environment you provide her has helped her in ways that are immeasurable.

I cannot thank Keystone STARS and Kinder Care enough for being such an important part of my support group as I continue to grow, and as I continue to share my experiences with others. Keystone STARS and Kinder Care are a part of that experience and I thank you, thank you, thank you.

Jacqueline and her children

Happier Family

Children’s Trust Fund
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Kathleen gradually noticed differences in the way her children responded to her.


The Family Service Association of Bucks County shared this testimonial from their Nurturing Parenting program.

Kathleen, a single mom, was referred to the Nurturing Parenting program because she was struggling to discipline her two young children. Robert is six, and Eva is four. They are energetic and eager to please their mom, but Kathleen was spending a great deal of time yelling and making empty threats because she didn’t know how to implement any other discipline techniques.

Kelly, a Family Service Parent Educator, began meeting with Kathleen on a weekly basis. After their initial meeting and assessment, Kelly customized 
the curriculum to build on Kathleen’s strengths as a parent and to address her weaknesses. They focused on positive discipline methods and appropriate use of rewards, and Kelly stressed the importance of consistency with consequences. 

Kathleen worked hard to implement the Nurturing Parenting methods within her family. She established daily routines so her children would know what to expect, and she began using reward charts to recognize positive behaviors. Kathleen gradually noticed differences in the way her children responded to her. They were finally starting to listen and comply with her requests. 

After completing 30 weeks of parent education sessions, Kathleen became a mother who is calm, self aware and who thinks before she acts. As a result, her family is happier and enjoys spending quality time together, especially doing crafts and playing outdoors.

Nurturing Parenting is funded by Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services Agency, Pennsylvania Children’s Trust Fund and United Way of Bucks County. Testimonimal reprinted with permission.

Kathleen and her daughter Ava

Always there for me

Family Centers
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

My family center has always been there for me and my family.

Vanessa M.

Hello my name is Vanessa M. Me and my family have been enrolled in the East Allegheny Family Center since 2012. I have 3 kids: Breanna -10 Micah-5 and Malachi- 4. In the past 6 years, I have participated in many things such as home visits, family fun nights, ACT parenting classes, kindergarten readiness and many more. Through home visits, I have learned so much about parenting, goal setting and life skills. My Family Development Specialist not only helps me set goals for my children but also for myself to help me better myself and my children's future. 

My family center has always been there for me and my family. I am currently the president of our parent group. I have volunteered myself and my time within the AIU program to learn about a program called "Fund My Future" for myself, and to inform other parents within my center and community. Me and my family have always felt welcome at our family center. 

My Center is filled with a bunch of wonderful women who are there to help whenever they can. None of this would have happened, if it didn't first start with home visiting. 

Positive Atmosphere

Family Centers
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

My family and I always have so much fun and there is always such a positive atmosphere.

Peggie P.

Being new to the area and not knowing anyone I found it hard to adapt to my new life here in McKeesport. I was referred to the McKeesport Family Center through an employee of the veteran leadership program in Pittsburgh who was familiar with the family center and McKeesport. When I called to inquire about my three boys and I joining their program the staff were welcoming and friendly. They were so open and willing to help me with anything that they could as well as giving me referrals to other agencies I the area. 

I remember my first home visit, I was so nervous and being a mom of children who have special needs I was concerned that my FDS wouldn't be able to my family and the challenges we face in our daily life. She came into my home and immediately my children came right to her she was so friendly and warm it made them feel so safe and they had no problems interacting with her. She was so willing to get on their level and interact with them. They sang songs, played games, made a craft it was definitely a great first and lasting impression on my children and me. 

Fast forward to she years and two more children my family and I are still a family very much involved with the family center. My three older children have since graduated the program however I still have two younger children who still receive weekly home visits and we attend the weekly play groups as well as the various activities throughout the community that the family center organizes. 

My family and I always have so much fun and there is always such a positive atmosphere. The amount of time and effort that the staff sped strengthening family's and encouraging healthy family bonds speaks for itself however I can honestly say that my family and I would not be the strong healthy family unit we are today without the nurturing and support that we continually receive from the staff at the McKeesport family center.

I am so thankful for everything they have and continue to do for me and my family. 

Peggie and her children

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