Mid-State Regional Key
A Leader In Community Services
Greetings!

Welcome to the Mid-State Regional Key STARS Newsletter!!
Check out our MSRK Contact List & Facebook Page !!
Provider Self Service

Click here to view the Provider Self Service (PSS) video created with the Department of Human Services Communications Office in November 2017. The video highlights the benefits of PSS and is only available through You Tube. This video highlights the advantages of PSS to child care providers.
Making Celebrations Healthier

From candies to cookies to pies and sweets, the holiday season is sure full of treats! Planning a party, celebration or event for your classroom?
Consider how healthy food can be in the room! Healthy food is important for children to learn and grow, promoting healthy habits is the way to go.
Use the Healthy Celebrations tools on SharedSourcePA to make your next celebration fun AND healthy! The tip sheets, policies, posters, and family handouts are great resources for teachers and families to reinforce healthy eating habits even during fun events.  
PennAEYC VOICE Awards - Submissions due TODAY!

The Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children recognizes the critical role advocacy plays in high quality early learning settings and celebrates those who speak on behalf of Pennsylvania's children. As the voice for early care and learning, community advocates are an invaluable component to assuring all Pennsylvania's children get the start that they deserve in school and in life.
 
The VOICE for Children Award is the only statewide award in Pennsylvania recognizing the grassroots leaders whose work impacts the quality of care for young children in diverse settings. Now in its fourth year, the VOICE Award celebrates not only individual award recipients, but the early childhood profession. 
Do you know an outstanding early childhood professional who is raising their voice to make a difference in the lives of young children and families through advocacy? PennAEYC is asking you to nominate qualified individuals to be recognized for their contributions.
 
The winner will be honored at the VOICE for Children Award Reception and Dinner in the spring of 2018 in Harrisburg, PA! 

Child Care Health Advocate - Anne Dodds

The Child Care Health Advocate course (EARL 160) is offered by Northampton is an online, 3 credit hour online college course taught over 15 weeks for directors, lead teachers and family child care providers. Health advocates are early childhood practitioners who see to it that their program integrates best practices in health, safety and nutrition, even though they may not perform those practices directly themselves. The course is intended to enable students to meet Standard 1.3.2.7 in Caring for Our Children 3 rd edition, the national health and safety standards for early care and education. The students learn to assess, identify, prioritize and implement current health and safety standards in the programs where they work.
This course continues to receive accolades from all the enrolled students. It offers a unique opportunity for directors and lead teachers to acquire academic credit that may be applicable toward college degrees. Since 2007, faculty members who are health professionals and child care health consultants have taught this course as an ongoing collaboration between Northampton Community College and the PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Pediatrician, Susan Aronson, MD wrote and regularly updates the curriculum. “Dr. Sue” participates in the online weekly discussions and in the 7 live interactive sessions offered during the course. 
Time for TA? - Kim Alloway

Do you need assistance in your infant or toddler rooms? Do you struggle with what to do with infants to twos? Then Infant/Toddler TA might be for you!
We will work  as a team to allow teachers, children and families to get the most out of the child care experience. We work together to create strong foundations and relationships, and to enhance communication in the Early Learning Environment. Assistance and guidance can also be provided for children who may be experiencing delays or challenging behaviors by developing practices that teachers will use every day.
If you have questions about Infant/Toddler TA, don’t hesitate to reach out to Kim Alloway via e mail or at 717.881.2306.
Observation and Communication in School Age - Rhea Simmons

Many School Age providers are at the time of year where they are working to communicate with families about their children by preparing child service reports. Though the parents of school age children get reports on academic matters from the schools the children attend, School Age out of school time programs have an important role to play in sharing information on developmental milestones in other areas.

Keystone STARS recommends the use of the Desired Results Development Profile to supplement the Child Service Report. It is a FREE research-based observation tool that is easy for staff to use, and that can follow a child throughout his/her years in a program. It is available for download here.

The DRDP instrument provides an excellent opportunity for program staff to share their observations regarding children’s growth and development, and to set and share growth goals with parents. Programs can also use the aggregate results to develop activities for children based on their observed needs. For more information, you can visit the Desired Results website or contact your SACC Specialist
Tools for Getting Started with Shared Services Webinar

Opportunities Exchange is hosting a webinar on December 5 at 1:00. This webinar is designed to outline the Shared Services Alliance startup process, direct you to specific tools on the OppEx website that can help, and discuss three recent examples of Alliance startups, including lessons learned. Register here.
Other Grant Opportunities
Deadline December 8th

The Coalition for Community Schools Initiative has launched the Students at the Center Challenge, with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Ford Foundation. The initiative will award $150,000 planning grants to up to 10 communities that commit to changing how they align and expand their work to help students, particularly children of color and low-income children. Any community where there is at least one affiliate or member of one of the collaborating partner's networks is eligible to submit a letter of intent (LOI) for consideration in the challenge. View the full list of organizations in Coalition for Community Schools, Communities In Schools and StriveTogether networks. Visit the Partner Portal for complete challenge details .

KidsGardening awards funding and gardening supplies to schools and community organizations with youth-centered garden programs. Youth Garden Grants are awarded to schools and community organizations with youth-centered garden programs. Any nonprofit, school, or youth program planning a new garden project or expanding an established one that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of 3-18 is eligible to apply. 
CDA Planner Course
Now Available in English AND Spanish!

This popular online  CDA Planner  course provides an overview of the requirements and application process for the Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential, and helps CDA candidates to get started on their successful CDA journey.
This is a 5-hour interactive online course worth .5 CEUs.

The CDA Planner course in English or Spanish costs $30 per person
Click here to purchase the course in Spanish
Click here to purchase the course in English
Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting!

Grant Writing
December 7th from 1-2:30 at Panera in York

STARS Informational & Grant Writing Session
December 12th from 1-3 at Lebanon YMCA Train Station
Other Community Meetings & Events  

Tioga ECE Coalition Meeting
December 13th at 1 at BLaST IU Canton
Thank you for all you do for children, families, and your community by being part of the STARS program!
Sincerely,
Mid-State Regional Key/Child Care Consultants
(717) 854-2273 or (800) 864-4925    info@childcareconsultants.org