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Graded Reading Lists for ChildrenOpen for Discovery BagsAre your kids ready for School? Immunizations - PDFCentral Penn Parent Magazine KidsHealth – information for both parents and kidsNational Parent Information NetworkNational Resource Center on AD/HDParents' Place – features issues from pregnancy through elementary schoolToday's ParentDr. Toy – recommends the best toys for kids.
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Increasing evidence has emerged to show that children's learning opportunities in the years before kindergarten have an important effect on their performance in school and ultimately their ability to contribute to society as adults. Through the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), Pennsylvania is helping our children, families, teachers and communities reach their promise.
If you are looking for help to pay child care expenses, or if you need help figuring out how to care for and educate your young child, Child Care Works can help. For more information, call the Child Care Works helpline at 1-877-4-PA-KIDS. You can also find help and information at your local Child Care Information Services office.
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Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children, a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of providing Pennsylvania’s young children with access to quality early learning opportunities sponsored by the PA Build Initiative, Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality, The Grable Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, and William Penn Foundation, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), rates all counties in PA for risk of failure for children in school. Dauphin County has a “High Risk” ranking. This is higher than York, Lancaster, Lebanon, Schuylkill, Northumberland, Snyder, Juniatia, Perry or Cumberland Counties. In fact, of the sixty-seven counties in PA, only eighteen of them are ranked as “High Risk.”
In order to position the Dauphin County Library System as the hub of early learning in the county, the library system must implement new and innovative ways of doing business.This process began two years ago when the system began a comprehensive evaluation of Youth Services. As the evaluation progressed, changes have taken place. Collection Development has been centralized for youth collections and a new position was created at the system level to guide Youth Services Programming and Outreach. These first steps have set the stage for the System to evolve its programming and outreach to a level that would position the library system as the forefront institution for helping families and practitioners build successful futures for the children of Harrisburg and Dauphin County.
Already the library system is working toward benchmarking its programming to the State's Standards for Early Learning in order to align library programming with Pennsylvania's best practices for the learning continuum. However, DCLS practices must evolve further. Youth Librarians, Library Managers and, in fact, all library staff, must learn the need for and practice of early learning experiences. This requires a new way of business that is supported by research, model programs that have shown success and an understanding of how children learn.DCLS is working to provide training and support to DCLS staff to incorporate both state and national standards and initiatives into the services provided to families by the system.
DCLS is committed to providing quality programming and services to the children of Dauphin County. However, to serve only the children would ignore the most crucial role that the library plays in the educational process. The public library has a unique and important role to play in educating and empowering those who love and care for children; parent and caregivers. Programming and services need to empower parents, grandparents, childcare practitioners and early education practitioners to understand and implement the best practices in early learning. Programming for children incorporates information for parents and caregivers on how to extend learning into the home and provides information about what quality early learning experiences look like. Trainings for parents and caregivers will become part of the service continuum at DCLS to ensure that those who spend the most time, and have the most impact on the educational success of children are informed and empowered to be a child’s “first and forever teacher.”
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