Welcome to the Mid-State Regional Key STARS Newsletter!! 
STARS Updates from the Mid-State RK

Using STARS for Marketing 

FREE Keystone STARS window clings and bumper magnets!

Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool for increasing awareness about your program. This course highlights some interesting results of family focus groups that shared, in their own words, the reasons why they chose a Keystone STARS quality-rated program. Find information on this free course here.      

OCDEL News & Updates  

Important Deadlines Approaching for HSSAP and PKC

Two significant deadlines are fast approaching to submit Letters of Intent for the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program (HSSAP) and PA Pre-K Counts (PKC).  

Current HSSAP grantees MUST re-apply as part of this full competitive rebid process. Failure to reapply for funding will result in the re-appropriation of funds to those who have applied and been selected to receive funds. 

Letters of Intent are required for the HSSAP application and for the PKC application. 

Pennsylvania's fiscal year (FY) 2017-18 proposed budget makes historic investments in education to prepare our children for the jobs of tomorrow, including an additional $75 million more for early childhood education. With new investments in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts ($65 million) and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program ($10 million), the state will be able to increase the number of children served in high-quality pre-kindergarten by 36 percent. The proposal in the FY 2017-18 Executive Budget represents the further steps toward achieving the goal of universal access to high quality pre-kindergarten programs. Funding is contingent upon approval by the Pennsylvania legislature.

View and download the new application form.

Family Provider News

Plan Your Purchase

Buying food for service at your child care can be a daunting task on your shopping list. The USDA has generated the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs to assist you in the planning process before you make your purchase.
  • The USDA Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs contains information to help you buy the right amount of food for your program and determine the specific contribution each food item makes toward the meal pattern requirements. The most updated information is available from the USDA; you can print out the entire manual or individual sections.  
    Food Buying Guide for School Meal Programs

  • Simplified Food Buying Guide has been generated by many states. To learn more, contact your state agency.
    USDA Child Nutrition Program State Agency Directory  
  • To eliminate complicated calculations when trying to determine amounts of food to purchase and prepare for your program, use the online Food Buying Guide Calculator.  This free tool simplifies the whole process allowing you to:  

    1.    Select a food group or search a food item.
    2.    Select the item described that you plan to use.
    3.    Select the appropriate serving size.
    4.    Enter the number of servings.
    5.    A shopping list is then started for you!

    Shared from Shared Source PA.  

Health & Safety News - Anne Dodds

2017 HEALTH CAPSULE: Anaphylaxis - What is it and How is it Treated?

Anaphylaxis is a sudden and dangerous body reaction that involves two or more organ systems. An allergy to some substance such as a certain food, insect bite, latex or medication causes the reaction. This may be something that has or has not caused any symptoms in the past. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening medical emergency. Waiting to get to an emergency room can be fatal.

Epinephrine injection is a life-saving medication. It slows the anaphylactic reaction. The benefit of a dose of epinephrine only lasts 15-20 minutes. If epinephrine is given – ALWAYS CALL 911. A second dose may be needed and would be given in the ambulance or at the emergency room.

Each staff member or child with a known medical condition should have a current emergency action plan. The plan should be easily accessible. For more information, see the Health Link articles “Anaphylaxis-What is It?” and “Food Allergies and Asthma.” Health Link articles are on the ECELS website at Put the title of the article in the search box located on the home page.

Be sure to get instruction from a health care provider about how and when to use auto-injectors or any other special procedures. A child’s parent may know what to do for their child’s condition. However, few parents are skilled health educators. Instruction should include showing a health professional that you can do the procedure correctly. Contact the child’s health care provider, ECELS (800-243-2357, or your PA Regional Key to locate a health professional to provide instruction.

Use the online self-learning modules about Food Allergy or Asthma  to learn more about these important topics.  These self-learning modules offer 2 hours of PA Keys credit. 

Libby Ungvary, Med ECELS Director

Infant & Toddler News - Kim Alloway    

Child Development Resources

If you are looking for resources to provide to parents on their child’s development, look no further than the Center for Disease Control and Prevention! I know – it may sound strange, but the CDC has a section on Child Development that is worth looking at.   Go to and check out all of the information and FREE publications/pamphlets/brochures that you can send for. Click on Free Materials, then click on Go To Order Form. 

Families Coming Together: Promoting Inclusion for All Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers

This special event on May 24 in Harrisburg is open to all families with children ages eight and younger.  

As one voice, families can promote communities where all children can play, learn, and grow together!

Families can strengthen inclusive approaches and beliefs by identifying common ground, sharing joint experiences and learning new information. Now is an exciting time for families to work together. National and state policies support inclusion and research affirms that inclusion benefits everyone. Families have a vital role in this process.

Learn more and encourage your families to attend.
SACC News -Rhea Simmons

Our 20th Statewide Conference!!

Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting! 

SACC Summer Activities 

  • 5/4/17 at 12:30 at CAECTI  with Corrie, Alyssa & Rhea
  • 5/16/17 at 9:00 at Panera Bread, 202 Basin Street, Williamsport with Rhea & Erica G 
  • 5/16/17 at 12:30 in Centre County, location TBD, with Rhea & Elizabeth

Adams Quarterly Director's Meeting 5/2/17 at 12:30 at Hoss's in Gettysburg with Diana Fasnacht

ERS Roundtable 5/10/17 at 12:30 at Lancaster Farm & Home Show, 1383 Arcadia Rd, Lancaster with Jenn 

Director's Roundtable 5/10/17 at 12:30 Carlisle United Way, 145 S. Hanover Street, Carlisle with Christina

Other Community Meetings 

ECE Coalition Meeting 5/10/17 at 1:00 at BLaST Intermediate Unit 17, 33 Springbrook Drive, Canton.  RSVP: Desiree Rockwell 

Lycoming Early Learning Meeting 5/11/17 at 11:00-1:00 at BLAST Intermediate Unit 17, Room:  Tioga A, 2400 Reach Road, Williamsport.  (bring your lunch) RSVP:  Angela Mamrak

Grant Reminders & Updates

Grant Closures  – If you have received your grant funds, please keep in mind that you must CLOSE your grant by the date listed on the letter you received with your check, or by June 30th, whichever comes first. 

Resources from our other ECE Partners

Here's the latest opportunity from Shared Source PA

Take advantage of a new opportunity from Child Craft through throughout 2017: 

  • 32% Discount on all supplies
  • 15% Discount on all furniture
  • Free Shipping on all orders over $49 (based on net order total)

    Click here for full details

    Newsletters and Community Events   

    Celebrating Month of the Young Child
    Month of the Young Child is a time to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. Since 1971, one week in April has been celebrated nationally as Week of the Young Child. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is holding its annual Week of the Young Child™ celebration from April 24 through April 28, 2017.  NAEYC is the world's largest early-childhood-education association with a network of over 300 affiliates across the country. Pennsylvania is taking it one step further and celebrating all month long! Celebrate with us and share the message of the importance of early learningCheck your county for fun ways to celebrate.

    • AdamsEarly learning partners in will celebrate Month of the Young Child on April 29th with their Community Celebration of Our Youngest Learners event in Gettysburg. Read more
    • Centre: Earth Day Family Event April 22nd from 9:30-11:30 at Calvary Kid Care in Boalsburg. Read More
    • Dauphin: Playdate in the Park April 29th from 1-4 at Possibility Place at George Park. See Flyer 
    • Franklin: Early learning partners in will celebrate Month of the Young Child on April 22nd with the Early Childhood Expo in Chambersburg. Read more.
    • York: Teacher Celebration Event April 28th at the Outdoor Country Club of York from 6-9. Register Here.
    Autism Walk April 22nd from 10-2 in Gettysburg. See Flyer 

    PennAEYC Early Childhood Action Day - Save the day for May 17th. More details to follow.

    Families Coming Together: Promoting Inclusion for All Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers. May 24th in Harrisburg. See Brochure.

    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