Welcome to the Mid-State Regional Key STARS Newsletter!! 
STARS Updates from the Mid-State RK
Week of the Young Child

On Thursday April 27th, Carrie Kitchen attended the Hanover WOYC Celebration planned by Joan Adams of the YWCA of Hanover. Several providers participated, including the YWCA of Hanover, Hanover YMCA and Hanover Day Nursery. The event began with a gathering at the fountain downtown with Hanover Mayor Ben Adams. The children and teachers then paraded to the YWCA, where participants were treated to Christina Katerina & the Box by Patricia Lee Gauch, as recreated by Beth G. Rebert of “Fun-In-It-Reading”.

What a great way to celebrate the children of Hanover!

OCDEL News & Updates 
Just Released in PA Early Ed News
New and Improved Organizational PQAS Application

Your voice has been heard! OCDEL is excited to announce that steps have been taken to streamline eligibility for Organizational PQAS Number approval. The changes made are to simplify the application process and reduce administrative burden. 

As of May 2017, organizations eligible for approval must offer a professional development approval and oversight system for instructors that is comparable to PQAS. Additionally, organizations must meet one of the two requirements below:

  • Organizational PQAS - Organizations eligible to apply for PQAS Organizational approval are Head Start Organizations in good standing with the Federal Office of Head Start as well as the Region III Office, AEYC/Child Care Associations (with full-time paid staff), Intermediate Units (IUs), Early Intervention Technical Assistance (EITA), Government Bureaus, accredited Institutions of Higher Education Departments dedicated to Early Childhood Education and School Districts, where the professional development relates to early childhood and/or school-age. 
  • Specialty Discipline Organizations PQAS - Organizations which do not offer professional development that is specific to early childhood or school-age educational practice, but have important information to share, are eligible to apply for PQAS Specialty Discipline Organizational approval.

The application can be found on the PQAS page of the PA Keys website under "Organization Applications and Policies for PQAS" section. Completed applications must be submitted at

How to Receive a Special Event/Conference PQAS Number: A Special Event/ Conference PQAS request is for multi-session, multi-instructor events or for national speakers. Applications must be submitted by either a Certified or Specialty Discipline PQAS Instructor or a PDO Administrator contracted with a Regional Key. The organization that is sponsoring the event must request approval at least 2 months prior to the event

The special event application is available on the PQAS page of the PA Keys website under the "Temporary Applications and Policies" section. Completed applications must be submitted to

Family Provider News

What is NAFCC Accreditation? 

Quality. Commitment. Excellence.

NAFCC sponsors the only nationally recognized accreditation system designed specifically for family child care providers. Accreditation is awarded to family child care providers who meet the eligibility requirements and the Quality Standards for NAFCC Accreditation. Family child care providers achieve this high level of quality through a process that examines all aspects of the family child care program, i.e. relationships, the environment, developmental learning activities, safety, health, and professional and business practices.

Don’t forget to Register for the 2017 NAFCC Conference “ Creating Connections” being held on July 19-22nd at the Mobile Convention Center & Riverview Plaza Hotel in Mobile, Alabama.  For more information go to

Health & Safety News - Anne Dodds
ECELS has many Publications Available

ECELS has created many documents for early education and school-age child care providers as well as those whose work involves quality improvement in these programs. Some are for professional development and training. Others are tools for implementation of best practice and information about how to access credentialed, evidence-based information. Click here to see a current list.

Infant & Toddler News - Kim Alloway    
Zero to Three Journal - Sign Up Today

Here is your preview of the Table of Contents with article summaries for the May issue of the ZERO TO THREE Journal, Building STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) Skills From Birth (Vol 37, No. 5).

Not a subscriber? It’s not too late. Subscribe by this Friday, May 5, to receive the May issue (print, digital, or both). Or … become a member of ZERO TO THREE by this Friday, May 5, and receive the May issue PLUS immediate access to Member Exclusive online resources including the entire ZERO TO THREE Journal archive.

Got a minute? We want to hear your ideas for topics you would be interested in seeing featured in the ZERO TO THREE Journal. Click here to share!
SACC News -Rhea Simmons
Building a Dream Team

Many school age programs are assembling their summer program staff. For directors, assembling summer staff can be challenging. Creating summer schedules, reassigning staff to different age groups and hiring and preparing new or returning staff to the child care team, are just a few of the tasks that need to occur. But once those tasks are done, how do you move from a group of staff to a real team?

A Summer Camp Staff Orientation is an important part of developing your staff into a Dream Team. A well planned orientation can help directors clearly articulate expectations, policies and duties, and provide staff with the opportunity to get to know one another. During the orientation, staff can complete required trainings and become familiar with employee policies and the policies outlined in the parent handbook. Icebreaker activities, and opportunities to plan and discuss, can bring out peoples strengths and provide staff with the chance to collaborate on projects and tasks.

For more strategies on team building, visit the National Afterschool Association Talk Tuesday web page.

Sign Up for our SACC Summer Activities Work Groups below.

Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting! 
SACC Summer Activities
  • 5/16/17 at 9:00 at Panera Bread, 202 Basin Street, Williamsport with Rhea & Erica G 
  • 5/16/17 at 1:00 in Centre County, location Bellefonte Family YMCA, 125 W. High St, Bellefonte, with Rhea & Elizabeth

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 

Director's Discussion Group 5/10/17 at 9:00 at Panera Bread, Carlisle Road, York with Carrie

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:

Handbook Recommendation

At a recent work group with Mentor Specialist Carol Heagy, she had a few suggestions for Staff and Family Handbooks.
  1. Have parents and families sign each addendum to the handbook as it comes out.
  2. Include “I have had the opportunity to review and ask questions” to the signature page for each handbook.
  3. Have staff read the family handbook so everyone is on the same page.

Check out to create a free account with access to plenty of HR, Classroom, Program Admin and more resources!

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

News from the Community Partners May eNews

Celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week

Teachers play an important role in shaping the lives of Pennsylvania's youngest learners. They work with families, children and partners to ensure that each child has opportunities to learn and grow. 

PA's Promise for Children is collecting stories from families and teachers to share during National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 7-12).   

Are you a parent or family member whose child loves their teacher?


  • Your child's favorite teacher's name and early learning program or school
  • Why he or she is your child's favorite teacher-why is this teacher special?
  • A picture of your child and their favorite teacher!

Are you a teacher who loves your job?

Share your story, too!

  • Where you teach and what ages/grades
  • Why you love teaching-what's the best thing about teaching?
  • A picture of you! (If there are children in your pic, please make sure you have a current signed consent form to use their picture.)

Email your story to Mary at or click here to submit online.

Get your story submitted by May 7 to be highlighted on the PA's Promise for Children website and/or PA's Promise for Children Facebook page  during Teacher Appreciation Week! 

Although Teacher's Appreciation Week runs May 7-12, stories will continued to be published as they're received.

Provider Appreciation Day May 12, 2017

Provider Appreciation Day is a special day to recognize Child Care providers, teachers and other educators of young children everywhere!  Here are a few ways to say thank you..

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