Child Care Challenges When Parents' Work Schedules are Unpredictable

By Laura Sosinsky, Ph.D.

A growing number of working parents do not have predictable weekday work schedules. Shifts can change at the last minute. Many parents work at night, in the early morning, or on the weekend. How do they manage? And what happens with their children?

These issues are getting attention in the media and research, and prompting changes in local and state policies. Philadelphia’s new “Fair Work Week” ordinance, which was signed into law on December 20, 2018 and went into effect on January 1, 2020, will require chain retailers and restaurants to raise scheduling standards, including giving workers two-week advance notice of their hourly schedules.

READ MORE about the “supply and demand” of child care when young children’s parents work nonstandard or unpredictable schedules. How many families need nonstandard- or irregular-hour child care, and why? How many child care providers supply nonstandard- or irregular-hour care, and what are the barriers to expanding this service? What strategies to address this growing challenge have been proposed or tested? The brief covers the national context with a focus on Philadelphia. Then it discusses strategies to address this growing challenge. The national context is covered, with a focus on Philadelphia.

Inclusion in Early Childhood Education Settings in Philadelphia

By Philippa H. Campbell, PhD, OTR/L

Inclusion is an important concept.  People want to be included and to belong in families, in communities, and in community institutions such as schools. Yet, all people are not always welcomed and, often, people with differences are the ones who are excluded.  Children with differences based on factors such as ability, language and heritage, or life experiences are often viewed as having special needs and needing specialized services or other accommodations to help address differences. 

Inclusion was originally focused on educational settings, originating more than 40 years ago when the 1975 Education for All  Handicapped Children Act (EHA) first required children, to the maximum extent possible, to receive their education in the least restrictive environment (LRE). It was not until 1986 that the law was revised to include a program for infants and toddlers, and also included children age three to kindergarten in the requirement for free and appropriate public education (FAPE), thereby establishing a policy  to serve ALL children under kindergarten age and to do so in least restrictive environments.

READ MORE about access, full participation, and system level supports available in Philadelphia. Learn what child care directors and teachers shared about their experience working with children with disabilities or special needs, and what activities and resources they need to best serve their children.

ECE Apprenticeship Conference Delivers Actionable Ideas

The recent (September 20, 2018) Early Childhood Education (ECE) Apprenticeship Conference brought national experts to Philadelphia to celebrate the ECE Apprenticeship Program as a successful model for replication and to place it in context of national conversations around the ECE profession.  Speakers shared bold, practical, and actionable ideas throughout the morning:

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Philadelphia Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship Program

The Early Childhood Action Collective (ECAC) is pleased to share the latest in a series of briefs intended to inform the implementation and improvement of early childhood programs in Philadelphia.

Written by Amy Friedlander and Cheryl Feldman, Philadelphia Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship Program: Support for the ECE Workforce and the Children They Teach details the apprenticeship model as a strategy to address the challenge of increasing the educational degree attainment of incumbent early childhood education teachers. District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund serves as the workforce intermediary for the Apprenticeship Program, leading the planning process, identifying partners and funding, and providing ongoing coordination and replication support.  Partner organizations include the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) and the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC).