The need for child care doesn’t end at 6 p.m.

By Laura Sosinsky

Working during the evening, overnight, or weekend has become so common – the “new normal” – that labels like “nonstandard” or “nontraditional” may no longer fit these schedules. Nationally, 20% of the workforce works at night or on the weekend.  Among low-income or low-wage hourly workers, the rate is between 28% and 50%. Women are more likely than men to work nonstandard hours, especially women with low incomes. Many have young children in need of care while they work. In Philadelphia, over 4,000 children receiving child care subsidies (or 10% of all children receiving subsidized child care) are in care between the hours of 6:00 pm and 6:00 am.1

Many workers in these jobs also face volatile, unpredictable scheduling. Nationally, about half of the nearly 30% of low-income mothers of children under 6 who work nonstandard hours are on irregular schedules. Over one-third of children, and nearly half of Hispanic children, in low-income households have a parent who receives their work schedule less than one week in advance.

The vast majority of parents (72%) who work these schedules do so because of the demands of the job rather than by choice.  Employment sectors requiring these hours include jobs in retail, restaurants and service sectors, security, health care, and jobs at plants and in warehouses. Students and members of the military also face child care challenges due to schedules that are not 9-to-5. 

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Seeking program nominations!

The Early Childhood Action Collective at PHMC is launching a new initiative, Supporting EVERY Young Child for Success. The purpose of this initiative is to support ECE programs to provide access and full participation to diverse learners in Philadelphia. This initiative will be supported by several activities. We have a couple papers in the works to share research findings and demonstrate how inclusion practices impact suspension and expulsion rates.

To kick-off Supporting EVERY Young Child for Success, we are seeking nominations of programs in Philadelphia that exemplify the spirit of inclusion. Anyone can make a nomination including directors, teachers, coaches, consultants, early intervention service providers and parents. Do you think your program does a great job supporting every child? Directors and teachers are highly encouraged to nominate their programs!!

Nomination requirements: any ECE program operating in Philadelphia that exemplifies the following principles:

  1. All young children belong.
  2. All young children can learn.
  3. Inclusion is a critical component of high-quality care.
  4. Inclusion encompasses all aspects of diverse learners-typical, social-emotional, IFSP/IEP, physical, race, culture, poverty, homelessness and more.

CLICK HERE to complete a short survey when you’re ready to make your nomination. Nominations will close on Monday, January 15th at the end of the day (11:59 PM). Nominated programs will be notified after that date. Semifinalists will be contacted to schedule a face-to-face visit to show off their programs and finalists will be announced by early March.

Nominated programs that move to the semifinalist stage will be recognized and will receive a kit to assist with making adaptations for children. Semifinalists will be included in highlighted solutions and best practices. Finalists will participate in a panel discussion at a culminating event in March 2018 and will be highlighted on the website and in the resource bank. 

Mothers, Children and HIV

In recognition of World Aids Day, let’s pause to remember how HIV affects mothers and children. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), in the U.S.:

> Approximately 8,500 women living with HIV give birth annually (based on an estimate from 2006, the most recent available).

> Social and economic factors, especially poverty, affect access to all health care and disproportionately affect people living with HIV.

> Of the 1,995 children1, living with diagnosed perinatal HIV at the end of 2014, 1,288 (65%) were black/African American, 294 (15%) were Hispanic/Latino2, and 226 (11%) were white.

Fortunately advances in HIV research, prevention, and treatment have made it possible for many women living with HIV to give birth without transmitting the virus to their babies. In fact, since the 1990’s HIV infections through perinatal transmission have been reduced by more than 90%. Today, if a woman and her newborn receive recommended treatment throughout pregnancy and after birth, the risk of transmission can be 1% or less.

However, the CDC cites several challenges still remain including lack of information, the timing of treatment, and access to treatment. Visit the CDC website to learn more about HIV Among Pregnant Women, Infants, and Children.

For a global perspective, you can read UNAIDS Children and HIV Fact Sheet


1 13 years of age or younger

2 Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race

The roles and requirements of school principal versus ECE center director: similarities, differences, and next steps

By Amy Friedlander

The K-12 education system requires principal certification.  In Pennsylvania, early childhood education (ECE) licensing requirements specify the educational attainment of directors.  Nearly a decade ago the Keystone STARS quality rating and improvement system created a Pennsylvania Director Credential.  Offered at undergraduate and graduate levels, this three-course, 9 credit credential is currently being revamped.  This blog raises questions and offers suggestions regarding how that credential might be modified in light of 1) the differences and similarities of the principal and ECE director roles; 2) the educational requirements of the roles; and, 3) the educational requirements of the teachers that they lead.

Like schools, ECE centers vary in terms of legal status (for-profit vs. non-profit, charter, public, private or parochial), structure (single vs. multi-site), ages of students taught, and philosophy (Montessori, distance learning, project based).  These variances trigger differences in job functions and confound the notion of a single set of skills, education, and experience as ideal preparation for the position of ECE director.  For instance, an ECE director that works for a for-profit company that operates several ECE centers may benefit from centralized supports and infrastructure.  An owner/director of a stand-alone for-profit ECE center is responsible for all the leadership, management, and administration – including teacher coaching and supervision, marketing, technology, human resources, facilities and security, payroll, and finance. 

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