This Announcement provides information to child care programs regarding the 2020 Keystone STARS Performance Standards. This is an updated policy, providing additional information and replaces ELS-KS-18 #02 Keystone STARS Performance Standards and Program Manual and accompanying documents. Along with the official policy announcement are:
This Announcement also provides information on changes to Program Quality Assessment within Keystone STARS. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, OCDEL is temporarily changing the Keystone STARS requirement for Program Quality Assessment (PQA), found in the Early Childhood Education Program indicator EC 3.4.5, for all STAR 3 and 4 programs for FY 20/21. Previously Keystone STARS quality indicator EC 3.4.5, required all programs seeking to move to a STAR 3 or 4 or renew their STAR 3 or 4 designation to have an external PQA using either Environment Rating Scales (ERS) or CLASS and meet the minimum threshold scores for each STAR level.
As a result of current and ongoing conditions of COVID-19, the following temporary changes have been made to the role Program Quality Assessment (PQA) has in the Keystone STARS Performance Standards for the 2020-21 program Year*:
- Integrate a program’s Facility COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan into CQI activities (EC 2.1 and EC 3.4.5)
- Transition from the use of a formal external PQA to an internal Assessment process that will guide programs in their CQI activities (EC 3.4.5)
- Provide programs the opportunity to consult with a Program Quality Assessor at the completion of their internal assessment process (EC 3.4.6)
- Replace “self-assessment” with the term “internal assessment”
- Remove PQA minimum threshold scores for STAR 3 and 4 programs
*Changes to temporarily suspend the requirement for an external PQA (ERS or CLASS Assessment) in the 2020-21 Keystone STARS Performance Standards are related to best practices in the mitigation of the spread of COVID-19. In future renewal cycles beginning after June 30, 2021, programs may be required to have an external program assessment and meet threshold scores to continue designation at STAR 3 or STAR 4. OCDEL will issue an announcement and revised STAR Standards when any expectations regarding the designation process changes which will align with new program years.
A recorded webinar will be available to providers which will provide an overview of the 2020 Keystone STARS Performance Standards. More information and instructions for viewing will be provided soon.