The world of Early Childhood Education can be a confusing one, and many organizations in Philadelphia go by acronyms that parents may not always know the meaning of. Below we have compiled a list of common acronyms parents should know when looking for a provider for their child. This is not a comprehensive list, but it is always growing, so check back or email us with suggestions.
CCIS: Child Care Information Services
is a cohort of organizations funded by the state to implement Pennsylvania's child care subsidy system.
CLF: Comprehensive Literacy Framework
is the School District's approach to teaching pre-literacy and literacy skills.
CLI: Children's Literacy Initiative
is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to work with teachers (Pre-K to 3rd grade) to transform instruction so that children can become powerful readers, writers and thinkers.
DPW: Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare
oversees several state grant programs for child care including the CCIS and Pennsylvania's child care subsidy program. DPW does this work in coordination with the Pennsylvania Department of Education through OCDEL (see acronyms below).
DVAEYC/NAEYC: Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children & National Association for the Education of Young Children
NAEYC, and its local chapter DVAEYC
, is a professional association for organizations and individuals who work with young children.
ELECT: Education Leading to Employment and Career Training
A program, specifically targeted for pregnant and parenting teens in district high and middle schools. Learn more
EFI: ELECT Fatherhood Initiative
EFI is a program for teen fathers.
HSSA/HSSAP: Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program
HSSA is a state funded component of the Federal Head Start program. In Philadelphia, HSSA supports about 20% of the available Head Start slots.
OCDEL: Office of Child Development and Early Learning
is within the PA Department of Public Welfare (DPW) and serves as a bridge with the Pennsylvania Department of Education. OCDEL oversees most of the early childhood funding and support activities at the state level. It is the lead office for PreK Counts, Keystone STARS program, DPW certification, and child care subsidy.
OECE: Office of Early Childhood Education
oversees early childhood programs within the School District of Philadelphia.
PAIS: Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools
is a voluntary membership not-for-profit organization which supports independent schools. They also provide a source of accreditation, maintaining high standards for early childhood programs.
PCCY: Public Citizens for Children and Youth
A nonprofit organization whose mission is improving the lives and life chances of our region's children through thoughtful and informed advocacy. Visit their website
PDE: Pennsylvania Department of Education
The Pennsylvania department responsible for school readiness funding and early intervention funding. PDE
does this work in coordination with the Department of Public Welfare through OCDEL (see above).
: The Mayor's Office of Education's free Pre-K initiative
In October 2016 the City of Philadelphia officially announced its initiative, known as PHLpreK, to create affordable, quality pre-K seats for thousands of 3- and 4-year-olds across the city. Currently, 91 providers across the city
are qualified for PHLpreK, with that number expected to grow over the next 5 years. To be eligible for PHLpreK, children must have turned 3 by September 1, 2016, and families must reside in Philadelphia. You can search
for PHLpreK providers by using our advanced search. Learn more about PHLpreK
PKC: Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts
An income-eligible program providing free high quality preschool for qualifying families. Learn more here
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