Welcome to the Mid-State Regional Key STARS Newsletter!! 

Child Care Consultants' upcoming Denim & Diamonds fundraiser will be held on April 6th at LSC Design in York. Register Here.
OCDEL News & Updates

Opportunity Remains to Review and Comment on Part C of IDEA  Comment deadline March 15
There is still time to review and submit your comments on Pennsylvania's proposed grant application for Federal Fiscal Year 2017 under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (Pub. L. No 108-446) as amended in 2004. Part C of IDEA refers to  a federal grant program that assists states in operating a comprehensive statewide program of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities , ages birth through age 2 years, and their families. Comments will be accepted through March 15, 2017. Access the document on the PA Dept. of Education  or Dept. of Human Services websites, or request a hard copy by emailing or by calling 717-346-9320.  
STARS Re-Visioning Updates 

STARS Updates from the Mid-State RK

Experiences from a Mentor

Hi!  My name is Brenda and I am a Star 3 family childcare provider. In addition to that, I have agreed to become a mentor to others who are interested in the Stars program.   When I was first approached about becoming a mentor, I was hesitant. I had all the excuses. Too busy, it would take too much time away from family, etc. After a while, I agreed to take on one mentee. Without a doubt, that was one of the best decisions I could have made.  

Providers who choose to join the Stars program, are providers that are dedicating themselves to providing children and families a higher quality program that goes beyond more than what is required. They choose to exceed minimum expectations. They are in a sense, reaching for the Stars.  

My job is to work directly with those providers, helping and supporting them where required or requested, to reach that next level. I work with mentees who are just starting their business, as well as seasoned providers, who are just interested in making that commitment to increase the quality of the program they provide.  

I have found mentoring to be rewarding in several ways.   There is a financial incentive that is awarded, partially when a mentee joins Stars, and the balance is awarded when the mentee reaches their goals of attaining the next Star level.   The greatest reward however, is the forging of new friendships with others who share a passion for teaching and a drive to create a stronger community of Early Childhood professionals. I am beyond blessed to have been able to make so many new connections through this program, and feel like I am truly making a difference by helping others.

Health & Safety News - Anne Dodds

Finding the Right Healthcare Professional for Your Child - To share with Families

Don't underestimate the importance of choosing that first healthcare professional. They will shape the feelings your child has of healthcare visits. If your child is in need of specialty care or if there are a lack of providers in your area, this could be challenging. However, a little homework prior to deciding on a provider may make for a more positive experience you and your child.
Get tips on how to find the right Healthcare Professional for you child and read about Angie who addresses a concern about her son with his healthcare professional in Be Your Child's Champion.

Family Provider News

Family Meals Workshops Grant Opportunity 

Application deadline March 24

A mini-grant opportunity is available to child care providers to support community engagement activities aimed at addressing childhood obesity.  The Pennsylvania Race to the Top Family Meals Workshops Grant Opportunity is being offered by the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to early childhood programs participating in Keystone STARS. Fourteen grants ($2,500 each) will be awarded to 14 child care programs participating at STAR level 2, 3 or 4, including family child care providers, who complete a grant application and are selected to participate. For additional information, please visit the PA Key website.

Infant & Toddler News - Kim Alloway 

I am borrowing a page from Anne Dodds, our Health and Safety Consultant, this week……


I know we say it all the time, but it really bears repeating.  The germs are thriving right now with back and forth temperatures and nothing really being killed off with super cold temperatures. Every classroom that I have visited in the past three to four weeks has been hit HARD with illnesses of many different types. Sanitizing and disinfecting needs to be taken seriously and completed the correct way. Let’s do whatever we can to protect our children and ourselves from more illnesses.

SACC News 

Helping your child towards school success

Will your child start Kindergarten in the fall? In the next few months, many schools will host Kindergarten Registration.

Early Kindergarten registration will help you prepare your child for his first day of Kindergarten. Your school may provide special programs, events, or resources to help your child prepare for the important transition. 
Visit the  PA's Promise for Children website to locate Kindergarten Registration information, then check out these resources to help your child prepare to be successful in school.

Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting!

Grant Closure - join us to review the Receipt Splitting Chart, learn how to keep your receipts organized, and to find out what you need to do to CLOSE your grant! 

  • 3/18/17 at Park City in Lancaster from 9:30-11:30 -with Jen  
  • 3/22/17 at Panera on Carlisle Rd. in York from 1:30-3 - with Carrie

 Director's Roundtable

  • 3/16/17 at Panera on Fruitville Pik in Lancaster from 12:30-2:30 - with Jenn W
  • 3/16/17 at Carlisle United Way from 12:30-2:30 - with Christina 
  • 3/21/17 at Panera Bread in Williamsport at 9:30 - with Erica G & Tammy (topic - Designation) 

Art for Infants & Toddlers with Kim Alloway - designed for Directors to learn what types of art activities should be happening in your Infant/Toddler classrooms. PD Hours will be provided. 3/22/17 at 10 at Lewistown Children's Center - with Michaelle 

Lycoming Early Learning Team Meeting 3/23/17 at 11 at East Lycoming SD office 349 Cemetary St. in Hughesville 

Professional Development Updates - register on the PD Registry at the PA Keys website

Training Lists & Updated Events 

Core Series Training

Other Training Organizations & Online Training 

Training Highlights

ECIC Conference April 29th in Lancaster

Go Healthy March 23rd in Camp Hill

Grant Reminders
The deadline to submit your MERA grant request is 10 days after your STARS Renewal or Move up date. If you have already renewed your STAR level for 2016-17, please submit your grant request electronically  to your specialist ASAP. If you have not yet renewed and plan on requesting a grant, please contact your specialist to renew now!

Grant Closures – If you have received your grant funds, please keep in mind that you must CLOSE your grant within 90 days of the date on the check that you received. There are several Grant closure meetings scheduled (see above).  If you would like to set up an individual Grant Closure meeting, please contact your specialist to do so.  This should be done no later than 3 weeks prior to your deadline date (in case you need to get more receipts/documentation).

Resources from our other ECE Partners

Addressing challenging behaviors is part of what you do every day. Our FLIP IT strategy (for children ages 3-8) can help you address these behaviors right away and moving forward 

Online FLIP IT Training Course
Anytime & anywhere!

Take a deeper dive into FLIP IT with our affordable, online, self-paced course.

Click here to learn more and register now.

FREE 1-Hour FLIP IT Webinar
Thursday, June 8, 2017, from 1-2 PM EDT

Get an introduction to the FLIP IT strategy from author Rachel Wagner. Click here to register now.

Can't wait until June? Watch one of our pre-recorded webinars:

  • One-Hour FLIP IT Overview - View

One-Hour Evaluation of FLIP IT Effective with Miami University - View

Newsletters and Community Resources 

WOYC Events

Adams - Save the date for April 29th in Gettysburg, 10-1. 

York - Teacher Celebration Event April 28th at the Outdoor Country Club of York from 6-9. Register Here. 

QRIS National Newsletters  New Resources Available! 
Thank you for all you do for children, families, and your community by being part of the STARS program!


Mid-State Regional Key/Child Care Consultants

(717) 854-2273 or (800) 864-4925