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local Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC)!

What are Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs)?

Pennsylvania's Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs) 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 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.

Services for Families

ELRCs can help families find the best child care for their children. They offer links to services like:

  • Child Care Works, Pennsylvania's child care subsidy program
  • Keystone STARS, Pennsylvania's quality improvement program for child care providers
  • PA Pre-K Counts and Head Start
  • Early Intervention Services

Services for Early Learning Professionals

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.


Early Learning Programs and Supports

Keystone STARS

Keystone STARS rates child care programs from one to four STARS on things you care about. Programs may meet regulations for safety, and offer a kid-friendly atmosphere with good teachers that partner with families to help children learn.

Child Care Works

It is a significant challenge for families to afford reliable, quality child care. Child Care Works makes it possible for low-income families to find reliable, quality child care near their home or work and provides financial assistance to help them afford it.


PA Pre-K Counts

Quality pre-kindergarten can give a child a strong start in school and in life. Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts provides free half-day or full-day kindergarten for at-risk children throughout Pennsylvania.

Head Start

Head Start programs are federally-funded programs that serve three and four-year-old children. Programs may be based in centers, schools, or family child care homes. Services include education, as well as health, nutrition, social and other services.

Early Intervention

Early intervention consists of services and supports designed to help families with children from birth to age five who have developmental delays or disabilities. Early intervention seeks to help children grow and develop through individualized services and supports, which may be provided at home, in child care, in private or public preschools, Early Head Start and Head Start, or combinations of these.


Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)

Since its inception in 2007, the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has focused on creating opportunities for the commonwealth’s youngest children to develop and learn to their fullest potential. This goal is accomplished through a framework of supports and systems that help ensure that children and their families have access to high quality services.

Find Child Care through COMPASS

COMPASS is an online tool for Pennsylvanians to apply for many health and human service programs and manage benefit information. COMPASS can help families find child care and early learning programs in their area. Additionally, families can find eligibility requirements and options for financial assistance.

The Pennsylvania Key

The Pennsylvania Key (PA Key) is a partner of the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning to provide families access to high quality services to prepare children for school and life success. Services include professional development system supports, technical assistance for OCDEL grantees such as Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, program quality assessment, communications, and fiscal supports.

Pennsylvania's Promise for Children

Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children, known as PA Promise, is a campaign to help families make good choices about their child’s early learning and choose quality early learning programs that are right for their family. The Pennsylvania Office of Early Learning and Development (OCDEL) is the primary partner in PA Promise.

Early Learning Newsletters

PA Early Ed News and Special Announcements. Monthly e-news with updates on OCDEL programs and policies, trends, reports, and resources.

Learning is Everywhere. Monthly e-newsletter based on the Learning is Everywherecalendar with resources, and activity & book recommendations for children from birth to age five.

Kindergarten Here I Come. Monthly e-newsletter based on the Kindergarten Here I Come Activity Guide with resources, and activity & book recommendations for preschool-aged children.

Kindergarten Here I Am. Monthly e-newsletter based on the Kindergarten Here I Am Activity Guide with resources, and activity & book recommendations for kindergartners.

PA’s Promise Action Alerts. Updates on early childhood education policy and legislative developments with ways to educate your community leaders.

Click here to subscribe to any of these newsletters.