Welcome to the Mid-State Regional Key STARS Newsletter!!
Check out our MSRK Contact List & Facebook Page !!
What's Going on with ELRCs?

In the March edition of the PA Early Education News (EEN), OCDEL announced the Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs). There is a lot of interest from child care providers and other early learning stakeholders on the implementation of this project.

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Keystone STARS Document Uploader Coming Soon

Many providers across the commonwealth asked for a tool that allows documents to be uploaded into a centralized system for Keystone STARS Quality Coaches and Designators to review. The Keystone STARS SMART Document Uploader was created in response to that request. The Keystone STARS SMART Document Uploader is a web-based tool that is provider-facing and communicates with the SMART Database software that STARS Quality Coaches and Designators use when working with early learning programs.
The goals of the Keystone STARS SMART Document Uploader are as follows:
1.  Reduces administrative burden for providers and coaches/designators
2.  Streamlines STARS designations
3.  Supports providers in the ELRC transition
4.  Supports Shared Services Alliances/Networks
5.  Supports stability in programs through efficient document retention
6.  Allows for state-wide evaluation of provider submitted sources of evidence
The initial testing phase of the Keystone STARS SMART Document Uploader ended last week with positive feedback from Regional Key Staff and providers. Volunteer providers included both those with well-developed and less-developed technology skills. In addition, the testing period provided insight into areas for improvement. Currently, testing is underway to investigate how the Document Uploader is communicating electronically with the SMART Database.  
More information on this will be available in upcoming issues.
Summer is Coming! Brush up on Outdoor and Water Regulations!
Although the winter weather doesn't want to let go just yet, summer is only a few short weeks away. It's important that all programs that plan to offer field trips and swimming activities are stressing the importance of supervision with their staff. Staff must be assigned the responsibility for supervision of specific children. The staff person shall know the names and whereabouts of the children in their assigned group. The staff person must be physically present with the children in their group on the facility premises and on facility excursions off the facility premises. Staff must be able to hear, see, direct and assess the children's activities. All staff should review the regulations §3270.113, §3280.113, and §3290.113
Regulations §3270.114, §3280.114, and §3290.114 state that weather permitting, children shall be taken out doors daily. Most children get excited to go outside and have free play time, but going into nature can offer so much more! Summertime provides an opportunity for the great outdoors to become an outdoor classroom. Sun Safety is extremely important to remember when spending time outdoors. Provide plenty of drinking water and protect children from sun damage. Use shade and protective clothing, including hats and sun-glasses, whenever possible. Applying sunscreen twenty minutes before exposure and reapplying every two hours will help prevent sun damage
Swimming will require additional staff to meet the minimum ratio requirements and maintain the safety of the children in your care. If you choose to do water activities, be sure to follow regulations §3270.115, §3280.115, and §3290.115 for swimming, wading, or water play table activities.
If you have any questions about the regulations,
Potty Time

Spring and summer can be a great time to start potty training with toddlers. Clothing is usually a little more manageable (to go up and down) for little hands with developing fine motor skills. Take a moment to review the article , and don’t forget to provide a copy to parents and caregivers.
Drastic Plastic

Did you know that 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the oceans every year? Or that by 2050 there will be more pieces of plastic in the ocean than fish?
Earth day is April 22 nd. This year’s theme is to raise awareness and find solutions to end plastic pollution. Specifically to end single use plastics, such as grocery bags and water bottles. Assist your school agers in using the internet or other sources to find multiple or permanent uses for plastics in their environment. The objects can be practical, fun, or artistic. Then assist them in developing a project or activity that helps them use what they have learned. offers a Climate Week Education toolkit with activities, experiments and informational videos to share with your school agers.
Pennsylvania One Book: Every Young Child

Is someone coming to your center to read My Cousin Momo? Don't forget to send your pictures to PA One Book: Every Young Child on Facebook!

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Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week

Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week is a week-long celebration to recognize those who work with youth during out-of-school time.

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Calling all artists: It's the 2018 Lights On Afterschool ...

The Lights On Afterschool poster contest is officially open, and this year we're changing up theme to reflect how youth see themselves and their futures because of their afterschool program! We're asking afterschool artists to consider what they...

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How to Help Your Child Develop Empathy

Empathy is the ability to imagine how someone else is feeling in a particular situation and respond with care. This is a very complex skill to develop.

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Intense Emotions: A Framework for Working with Young...

April 2, 2018 | Ron Spreeuwenberg Challenging behaviour and intense emotions are often linked - how best to manage? Episode #90: Tracy Cutchlow says that you can pretty easily guess whether the child is looking for a connection, that sense of...

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Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting!     

STARS Drop In Workgroup
April 25th from 1-3 at Panera in State College
Professional Development Updates 
Register on the  PD Registry
Empowering Parents to Promote Resilience: Your Journey...

Our most vulnerable children and families need resilience more than ever! This webinar will introduce Your Journey Together (YJT), a strength-based and research-based parenting curriculum designed to promote the social and emotional well-being...

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Baby Talk: April 2018

Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute - The FPG Child Development Institute is one of the nation`s oldest multidisciplinary institutes for the study of young children and their families. Research and education activities focus on child...

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Luthercare for Kids- Reamstown
58 South Reamstown Road, Stevens, PA 17578 (physical address)
Contact Cindy Hogg, Center Director (717)336-3233 or

* Teacher, Full-time, Monday- Friday, 8:30a-5:30p. Hours may vary based on center needs. This position is for the School Age program. CDA or SA credential is a plus but not required. 2 years of experience in a similar environment and AGS qualifications required.
* Teacher, Full-time, Monday-Friday, hours vary 6:30am-4pm. This position will serve the Infant/Toddler room. CDA is a plus but not required. 2 years' experience working with Children and AGS qualifications required.
* Teacher Full-time summer , no degree or certificate required. June to August, to work with our School-age summer program. Possible hours 8:30-5:30 but depends on needs of the center. AGS qualifications.
* Substitute Teacher, as needed basis. AGS qualifications required. Willingness to travel to other sites in Lancaster, Columbia, and Lebanon for extra hours is a plus but not required. 
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