Welcome to the Mid-State Regional Key STARS Newsletter!! 
OCDEL News & Updates

P-3 Governor’s Institute Invitation to Apply

The Pennsylvania Department of Education Office of Child Development and Early Learning is pleased to announce the 2017 Prenatal to Grade 3 (P-3) Governor’s Institute: P-3 Collaboration - Working Together for Student Success. The purpose of Pennsylvania’s P-3 Governor’s Institute is to help school districts, early learning providers, and community organizations throughout the commonwealth make the vital connections and collaborations necessary for student success from prenatal through grade 3. The 2017 P-3 Governor’s Institutes are being offered regionally:

•        June 27-29 at the Marriott in Cranberry;
•        July 11-13 at the Sky Top Lodge in the Poconos;
•        July 31- August 2 at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey.

Participation in the 2017 institute is limited to 28 teams per region. Participating teams will be selected through an application process. School districts, birth-5 early learning programs, and community organizations may submit an application.  Applications may be submitted for more than one team from the same organization, if each applying team represents a different elementary school and birth-5 feeder school/program. Teams should be built around a specific elementary school(s), its feeder early learning programs, and the local community. Selected teams will participate in this three-day event.  Professional development will be offered to support team specific implementation of P-3 efforts.

Most expenses, except meals, will be covered for participating teams using Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant funds. Act 48, and Act 45/PIL professional development credits and Pennsylvania Quality Assurance System (PQAS) hours will be offered.

To be considered for participation in this event, participating teams must agree to the following:

  •          Participate in pre-conference webinar or call;
  •          Attend and actively engage in the entire three-day event;
  •          Bring a core team of no less than four educators (maximum participating team of eight members):  a birth-5 administrator, a birth-5 teacher, a K-3 administrator, and a K-3 teacher.  Preference will be given to applicants who include up to four of the following: family leader or family representative, Early Intervention representative, out of school time professional, community member, librarian, curriculum specialist, higher education partner, IU representative, Home Visiting, and Family Support;
  •          Engage in continuous improvement via sharing and implementation of strategies/programs that will enhance student achievement; and
  •          Maintain an active role in the Governor’s Institute cohort subsequent to the event (e.g., professional learning community, webinars, monthly follow up).

Applications are now available.  Deadline to submit an application is February 28, 2017.  Selected applicants will be notified via email by April 3, 2017.
The application can be accessed at: Governor's Institute P-3 2017 ApplicationIf you have any questions, please contact Jolie Phillips at

STARS Re-Visioning Updates 

STARS Updates from the Mid-State RK

Enrollment Calculation Tools

For grant eligibility, you can count children that have an IEP/IFSP towards your "at risk" percentage, along with CCIS and Early Head Start funded children. Add those children to the Early Intervention column. 

Health & Safety News - Anne Dodds 

ECELS Health Capsule:  Influenza: Get Ready Now for the Upcoming Flu Season
Flu vaccine is an essential vaccine for children and all adults who care for them. The flu virus is common and unpredictable.  It can cause serious complications – even in healthy children. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends annual influenza immunization for everyone ages 6 months and older. Infants less than 6 months of age are too young to receive influenza vaccine. So, it is especially important for everyone who comes in contact with infants to be immunized. This will help protect babies from exposure to the virus.  For the 2016-17 flu season, only the injected form of flu vaccine – the “flu shot” – is recommended.
Each year, everyone involved with child care in any way and  who is medically able to receive influenza vaccine should get it. The vaccine helps to reduce the thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of serious illnesses that occur every year. Don’t think you are immune because you have never had the flu. The first time you get the infection can make you sick for months or kill you. Influenza infections are most common between October and April. Many people say they have had the “flu” when they have an uncomfortable respiratory illness. However, short, mild illnesses are most often caused by other seasonal viruses. Usually, influenza is a severe and long-lasting illness.
Health insurance usually covers the full cost of the vaccine without a co-pay. Children and adults can get the vaccine from adult and child health care professionals or community health clinics. Adults can also get the vaccine from pharmacists or other health personnel at grocery stores and drug stores. If you must pay for the vaccine, the charge at most stores is about $30. This is much less than a lost day of work due to illness.
Keep everyone healthy – working and learning together. Identify an advocate for your program’s flu vaccine campaign. Ask someone to check to see who has received vaccine this year and who needs more reminders. Motivate full participation in this year's immunization effort. Use the posters, information sheets and other tools on the website of the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   Scroll down to the specific information for child care programs and schools.  Find a flu vaccine location near you.  Use the Flu Vaccine Finder
Family Provider News

February 25th in Camp Hill   

Infant & Toddler News - Kim Alloway 

Research tells us that exposing children to math early improves their success in school. Talking to young children about numbers helps their brains develop, and may improve their confidence with math later on. So get counting! These ideas will help you spark your child’s math interest while you talk, read and sing!

Find opportunities to count everywhere you go. Count the steps as you and your child are walking up and down the stairs, or the cars passing by. Use your baby’s fingers and toes to count one, two, three, four, five!

Ask “how many?” Ask your child questions like “how  many children and adults live in our home?” or “how  many silver cars do you see?” These questions encourage children to count and compare things they see every day.

Talk about the shapes and sizes of objects all around you. Describe the shapes of everyday objects: the large table that is a rectangle, or the small, round orange. When your child has mastered these concepts, describe less common shapes: the stop sign is an octagon, the pond is an oval.

Sing and clap along together. One clap for each syllable builds understanding of “one-to-one correspondence,” or the ability to count in sequence. Practicing rhythm and melody also helps children understand patterns.

Talk about directions. Use physical descriptions of the world around you, such as “through,,” “next to,,” “around” and “behind” to help your child understand where things are in relation to other things.

Use comparison words throughout the day. Is the grapefruit bigger or smaller than the orange? Is my hair longer or shorter than yours? Grouping objects together helps children discriminate between sameness and difference. Sort things by size, color, length, or anything else you can think
of together. The list is endless!

Taken from Too Small to Fail –

"A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark." Chinese Proverb

SACC News 

Will Your Child Be Starting Kindergarten in 2017?  

It's hard to believe many schools will soon host Kindergarten Registration for the 2017-2018 school year!

Each year, PA's Promise for Children posts Kindergarten Registration information on our website and promotes it to thousands of incoming kindergarten families, teachers, and early learning and school district partners. This is the only comprehensive listing of Kindergarten registration information in Pennsylvania. But we can't do this without your help!

If you have Kindergarten registration information, please send it to us so we can get information posted for schools in your county. This includes Kindergarten registration fairs, events, etc. If you have already submitted kindergarten registration information, THANK YOU!

Please send whatever information you may have for the schools in your county and share this with partners who may have access to this information. You can send to me flyers, links to websites, etc.-we will take it all! There isn't a deadline to submit, but the sooner it can be posted, the more families can find the information they need.

Thank you so much for your help in getting children and their families ready to start school ready to learn!
Mary P. Hall
Communication and Outreach Specialist
Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality/PA's Promise for Children
PA's Promise for Children
200 North Third Street, 3rd Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101
717.213.2077 phone

Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting!

Grant Closure - join us to review the Receipt Splitting Chart, learn how to keep your receipts organized, and to find out what you need to do to CLOSE your grant!

  • 1/25/16 at Panera Bread on Carlisle Rd in York at 2:00 - with Carrie
  • 2/7/17 at Panera Bread on Jonestown Rd in Harrisburg at 9:30 - with Corrie 
  • 2/7/17 at Lebanon YMCA at 1:00 - with Corrie 
  • 2/8/17 at Lancaster Penn State Coop at 12:20 - with Jenn & Alyssa
  • 2/11/17 at Panera Bread on Queen St in York at 11:00 with Jen D.   

Art for Infants & Toddlers with Kim Alloway - designed for Directors to learn what types of art activities should be happening in your Infant/Toddler classrooms. PD Hours will be provided.

  • 1/24/17 at Lebanon YMCA at 1 - Corrie        
  • 1/26/17 at Lancaster Penn State at 12:30 – Alyssa     
  • 2/8/17 at Christ Lutheran, Dallastown at 1:30 - Carrie
  • 2/9/17 at Camp Hill Giant at 12:30 - with Christina 

Director Roundtable & Parent to Parent Overview - 2/7/17 at Hoss's in Gettysburg at 12:30 - with Christina 

Care Plans with Anne Dodds - 2/15/17 at Union County Library at 10:00 - with Michaelle 

Professional Development Updates - register on the PD Registry at the PA Keys website

Training Lists & Updated Events 

Core Series Training

  • ERS Foundations in Lititz on 2/20/17 from 10-12
  • ECERS-3 in Lititz on 2/20/17 from 1-4 

Other Training Organizations & Online Training 

Webinar Highlight

Grant Reminders
The deadline to submit your MERA grant request is 10 days after your STARS Renewal or Move up date. If you have already renewed your STAR level for 2016-17, please submit your grant request  electronically  to your specialist ASAP. If you have not yet renewed and plan on requesting a grant, please contact your specialist to renew now!

Grant Closures – If you have received your grant funds, please keep in mind that you must CLOSE your grant within 90 days of the date on the check that you received. There are several Grant closure meetings scheduled (see above).  If you would like to set up an individual Grant Closure meeting, please contact your specialist to do so.  This should be done no later than 3 weeks prior to your deadline date (in case you need to get more receipts/documentation).

Resources from our other ECE Partners

ZERO TO THREE Updates State Policy Self-Assessment Toolkit
ZERO TO THREE recently updated Infants and Toddlers in the Policy Picture: A Self-Assessment Toolkit for States. This toolkit was first released in 2015 and is intended to help policy leaders and advocates assess the current status of services for infants, toddlers, and their families in their states and set priorities for improvement. Policy leaders may use a companion family survey tool to directly query families with young children about their experiences accessing health, early learning, and family support services. 

Newsletters and Community Resources 
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