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

Free 1 hour e-learning course for Keystone STARS Directors

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 
Don't Miss These Important Deadlines!

Several upcoming deadlines are fast approaching. Make sure you don't miss something important!

Family Provider News
Wonder-full Programming Ideas

In a mixed ability group, the family child care professional can be encouraging of each child and her stage of development and abilities by using the word “yet.”  Using sentences like:
  • “You haven’t learned how to use a saw yet.”, or
  •  “You just started exploring that set of blocks. You haven’t figured out all the ways they work together yet.
Communicates to the child that there is still more learning to be done. It previews future possibilities and supports a “growth mindset.”  If you’d like to encourage children to take risks, dream, wonder, and invent, this handout may inspire you.

Health & Safety News - Anne Dodds
Updated Pediatric First Aid Instructors

Providers have several choices when selecting Pediatric First Aid instructors.  Click here to see a current list.

Infant & Toddler News - Kim Alloway    
Supervision Learning Module

Don’t forget there is still time to take advantage of the Supervision Learning Module that you would have received from your specialist. Supervision of even our youngest children is vital not just from a safety standpoint but also from an “enriching the environment” standpoint. I am a big advocate of not reinventing the wheel when there are already fantastic resources out there.

Please see the “Zoning for Maximizing Learning” support sheet that Head Start puts out. This is a great way to assess, and have your teachers self-assess their awareness of where they are in the classroom and what they are doing.
SACC News -Rhea Simmons
Play Matters

Spring is a great time for children to develop observation skills. They can quietly watch ants busily marching to and from their colony, or draw or photograph how trees, flowers or tadpoles change from one day to the next. The changes in nature provide an excellent opportunity for activities where children learn to focus on small details, describe what they are seeing, and document changes over time. Here are some tips from to help children of all ages develop strong observation skills: 

1.      Teach children that to observe something is to pay close attention to it. Use their five senses where appropriate: seeing; hearing; touching; smelling; tasting. Children must be taught they should only touch or taste something if an adult says it is safe.

2.     Remind children that observing something well means to see things from different angles, places, times and over time. The longer the time you have to make observations, the better the information will be.

3.       Provide different observation tools like magnifying glasses, microscopes; rulers and measuring tapes; weights and scales; thermometers; stopwatches, clocks, etc. Through practice, children will learn which tools will best help them in their respective observations.

4.       Emphasize that recording observations is just as important as making them. When recording observations, use words, numbers, pictures, photos and videos. Experiment recording observations on different types of graphic organizers. It is important to be neat and organized. Help children organize their notes and observations in a journal or portfolio-just like real scientists do. To get the most from their time observing, make sure children have the opportunity to share what they have observed, and to pose questions. 

Learning how to observe is a very important science skill for children. By making observations, children learn how observations help answer questions, and how to use observations to make predictions. In this way, they learn to make their own discoveries about the world around them. 

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 & Christina

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 IU 17, 33 Springbrook Drive, Canton.  RSVP: 

Lycoming Early Learning Meeting 5/11/17 at 11:00 at BLAST IU 17 Room: Tioga A, 2400 Reach Road, Williamsport. RSVP:

Professional Development Updates  
Register on the  PD Registry  
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 your grant agreement, or by June 30th, whichever comes first. Again this year, you are not required to send in receipts with your closing paperwork. However, you MUST KEEP your receipts on file for your records. We conduct on-site monitoring visits for 25% of our grants. If your grant is selected, your receipts will be reviewed to confirm that you purchased and spent what you attested to in your closing paperwork. If you are unable to document your purchases, you will be required to return your award funds and will risk suspension of your STAR level. 
Resources from our other ECE Partners
Invite your legislators to an important briefing on how child care works in PA 

As you’ve been hearing for the last couple of weeks, the House recently advanced a draft budget that makes significant cuts to the child care line items. This week we are asking that you contact your legislators, urging their attendance at an important policy briefing.  We need to tell our legislators that:

  • Child care cuts hurt families and children Families on waiting lists may have to turn down offers of employment or place children in a patchwork of environments for care.

  • Child care cuts hurt programs
    Programs suffer when the state's rates don't cover the real cost of high-quality care.  Programs also don’t have reliable income when they are attempting to provide care for families on a waiting list or new siblings. 

  • Child care cuts hurt teachers
    Teachers wages are limited by income from the state and families’ ability to pay for care. Grants and awards from the state that help supplement wages and benefits for teachers have been cut in the past due to limited funds.

Early Learning PA will be hosting a briefing of the Early Childhood Education Caucus next week in Harrisburg to help legislators understand that “Child Care Works” and needs to be funded appropriately. 

This week we are asking that you please contact your House and Senate members to encourage them to attend this childcare briefing. The briefing is open to all legislators – House and Senate, and officials do not need to be members of the caucus to attend. You can invite your members by clicking on this link.

Newsletters and Community Events  
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