Welcome to the Mid-State Regional Key STARS Newsletter!! 
STARS Updates from the Mid-State RK
Re-Visioning Keystone STARS

MSRK appreciates all providers who work diligently every day to meet the needs of children and families.  Providers who participate in Keystone STARS choose to focus on quality improvement strategies of their facility that best meet the needs of their staff and children in their care. MSRK recognizes the efforts and time it takes to document efforts, attend PD events and make improvements. 

On May 23rd and on June 1st, we will recognize our STAR 3 and STAR 4 providers in a celebration event.  Congratulations to those providers who have gone the extra mile to be a facility of high quality!
OCDEL News & Updates 
Keystone STARS Revisioning Launch webinars

For more than a year, OCDEL has worked with the Keystone STARS Think Tank and stakeholders to revise the Keystone STARS system to support quality improvement in early care and education programs while reducing administrative burden.

 In anticipation of the July 1 launch, OCDEL is hosting three Keystone STARS public webinars. Please click the link below to register.

During these webinars, attendees will preview the new Performance Standards, new coaching and financial supports, and the process for moving up the Keystone STARS ladder.

 If you cannot attend, recordings and materials will be posted on the PA Keys website.  

Family Provider News

Child and Adult Care Food Program 

CACFP- Did you know that you could be reimbursed for providing nutritious foods to the development of children in your program? The Child and Adult Care food program is a federally funded program that provides payments for eligible meals served to participants who meet age and income requirements. Through CACFP, more than 4.2 million children receive nutritious meals and snacks each day as part of the day care they receive.

See how CACFP can make a difference in the quality of your program! Serving nutritious meals helps improve and maintain the health and nutritional status of children in day care and can help young children develop good eating habits. For more information or to join, please contact Megan Cook at 717-854-2273. 

Health & Safety News - Anne Dodds
ECELS Health Capsule:  Early Brain Development - What Pediatricians Recommend

Children learn through meaningful relationships. Positive interaction with consistent adults is essential for early brain development.  Verbal and nonverbal communication during routine care is a good approach. Teachers can show families what to do. Speak in soft, encouraging, and positive ways to children. Encourage being respectful and treating children as you would like to be treated.

Building Positive Teacher-Child Relationships is a useful publication. In it the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) suggests these ways to develop meaningful relationships:
  • Engage in one-to-one interactions with children
  • Get on the child’s level for face-to-face interactions
  • Use a pleasant, calm voice and simple language
  • Provide warm, responsive physical contact
  • Follow the child’s lead and interest during play
  • Help children understand expectations
  • Redirect children who have challenging behavior
  • Listen to children and encourage them to listen to others
  • Recognize a child’s efforts and successes

CSEFEL offers four modules that address the social-emotional needs of young children. The Infant Toddler Module 2 includes a handout about identifying opportunities for responsive routines(1). Use it to remind staff and families about easy ways to foster early brain development. It offers practical suggestions to use in these activities:

  • Infant feeding and toddler eating
  • Diapering and toilet learning
  • Sleeping/resting
  • Greeting and goodbye times
To discuss this and other health and safety practices with a nurse or pediatrician, contact ECELS, a program of the PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics at 800-243-2357 or .

(1)Responsive Routines Inventory in Responsive Routines, Environments, and Strategies to Support Social Emotional Development in Infants and Toddlers.

ECELS E-MAIL ALERT: Reminder Enter to Win the AAP Manual: Managing  Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools- New Extended Deadline – Next Friday

  • Do you know how to prevent insect bites and the diseases they cause?
  • Do you want to reduce illness in your early care and education program?
  • Do you know when exclusion due to illness is recommended for children and staff?
  • Do you have questions about specific illnesses such as pinkeye (conjunctivitis) or hand-foot-and-mouth disease?

Enter the ECELS raffle to win a copy of the 2017, 4th edition of the award-winning guide, Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools.  This manual is a $60.00 value. 
To enter the raffle:

  • Send at least one infectious disease question to Sandy Sandos ( at the PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics- ECELS by May 19, 2017
  • Include your name, program name, address, phone number and best time for a health professional from ECELS to call you to discuss your question.  Everyone who submits an infectious disease question will be contacted.
  • ECELS staff will draw a limited number of winners to receive a free copy of this manual.  Winners will be notified.

This offer is limited to Pennsylvania subscribers.

To learn more about Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools, 4th edition,  go to and enter the title.

Infant & Toddler News - Kim Alloway    
Baby Talk: Resources to Support the People
Who Work With Infants and Toddlers

Here is the May 2017 issue of Baby Talk.

Past issues of BabyTalk are archived at

SACC News -Rhea Simmons
Let's Get Cookin'

Cooking with your school age learners can be so much more than a fun activity. It allows children to develop many skills such as:

Nutrition-when discussing ingredients, preparation techniques and portion size

Literacy- reading labels, recipes and instructions

Math-measuring (number, weight, volume, temperature, fractions, elapsed time)

Problem Solving- estimating, halving or doubling a recipe

Fine motor skills- peeling, slicing (be careful!), stirring, spreading, and pouring

The SACC MSRK Pinterest page has lots of healthy meal recipes for you to try with your school age learners, or you can find others on your own. 

Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting! 
SACC Summer Activities

  • 5/31/17 at 12:00 in Northumberland County, at Milton YMCA SACC, 32 Broad Street, Milton with Rhea & Michaelle

Grant Closure Work Group 6/7/17, 12:30-2:30, Panera Bread, Jonestown Road with Corrie

DHS Representative Sharyn Lukens Work Group 6/8/17, Giant Community Room (small room) , Camp Hill with Christina

Other Community Meetings 

ECE Coalition Meeting 6/14/17, 1:00-3:00 at BLaST Intermediate Unit 17, 33 Springbrook Drive, Canton.  RSVP Desiree Rockwell

Get inspired in the “Sunshine City” this summer!

National Early Childhood Summer Institute
June 26–29, 2017   
The Vinoy Renaissance, St. Petersburg, FL

Join us in Florida this June to learn about the latest research and emerging trends in whole child development. Through interactive activities and highly engaging keynotes, you'll learn how to build a powerful, early childhood program that helps ensure every child reaches their full potential. Get inspired by nationally renowned speakers including Juanita Copley, Vince Costanza, Stephen N. Elliott, Linda Espinosa, Walter Gilliam, Judy Jablon, Sam Meisels, Aisha Ray, and Ruby Takanishi.

In addition to this exciting learning experience, you'll have the opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the country while enjoying the “Sunshine City” of St. Petersburg. Don't miss this chance to gather fresh ideas for your program and go home refreshed!   Register Here

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

Nominate a colleague for PACCA's 2017 Annual Awards

PACCA is accepting nominations for the 2017 Educator of the Year and the Award of Excellence. The awards recognize contributions made by PACCA members to the early care and education profession. Members and non-members may make nominations.

         The Educator of the Year award honors outstanding service and accomplishments in the delivery of services to children. It is given to an individual who has contributed significantly to the direct care and education of young children.

         The Award of Excellence honors outstanding service and accomplishments in the field of administration. The award is presented to a member of PACCA who has demonstrated qualities of vision (ability to see possibilities for making things happen and communicating this vision to others), teamwork (ability to work with support others) and leadership (willingness to reach out to benefit the child care community).

The winners receive complimentary registration and hotel accommodations for the Early Childhood Education Summit, October 16-18, 2017 in State College and are recognized during Tuesday morning opening ceremonies at the Summit.

Nominations must be received online by July 15, 2017 at

Winners will be notified by August 30, 2017. Awards will be made at the Early Childhood Summit, October 16-18, 2017 in State College, PA. All nominees will be notified of the Awards Committee’s decision.

Newsletters and Community Events  
PennAEYC Early Childhood Action Day - May 17th.              Here are the details!

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