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

Now Available in Spanish! Health & Safety Basics: Requirements for Certification

The six-hour online course, Health and Safety Basics: Requirements for Certification, is now available in Spanish. The free online course covers nine (9) topics of the ten (10) mandated Federal training requirements in health and safety that child care providers must complete.

The module includes up-to-date medically approved content regarding children's health and safety, and is available at no cost online from Better Kid Care

¡Ahora disponible en español! Salud y seguridad básicas: Requisitos para la certificación

Visite este sitio web.                  

STARS Re-Visioning Updates 

Public Webinars

All stakeholders are invited to participate on one of two public webinars on January 19, 2017 for a general overview and progress update on the Keystone STARS Re-visioning work. Sign up via the links below:

The three workgroups also began work in December: 

  • The Professional Development/Coaching/Cross-Systems Partnerships Workgroup met by webinar on Dec. 20 to review types of professional development services and how they are delivered, as well as the ongoing work on the PA Professional Development System.  
  • The Communication/STARS Ambassadors Workgroup met by webinar on Dec. 20 to review how families receive information on the availability and quality of child care. They will be surveying the field to gather more information on this topic.  
  • The Quality Indicators and Program Alignment Workgroup had a webinar on Dec. 21 to learn about how to do their assessment of the Keystone STARS performance indicators using the criteria of evidence-based/high value, achievability and feasibility for objective measurement. Their input will be merged with the input of the Think Tank for a broader and more informed look at the indicators.  

You can stay up-to-date on the Re-visioning work, including the activities of the three workgroups on the Keystone STARS Re-visioning page on the PA Key website. 

STARS Updates from the Mid-State RK

Congratulations for Moving up in STARS in 2016-17!!

A Child's Place Day Care                                             
Aa to Zz - St. Charles Way
Adamstown YMCA
Amy Caudle
Angela Oakley
Angels Landing Christian Child Care
Bam Bam Child Development Center
Bostley’s Preschool - Hughesville
Bostley’s Preschool - Dewey Ave.
Bright Beginnings CC of Hershey
Carlisle Early Education Center
Caterpillar Lane Family Daycare
Centre Hall School Age Program
Children’s Center of Enola
Christ Lutheran Child Development Center
Crosspoint Christian Child Care
From the Heart Ministries
Grandview Heights Christian DC
Hanover Area YMCA Child Care
Hansel & Gretel ELC - Walnut St.
HLC: Hempfield
HLC: PSU Harrisburg
JCC Child Development Center - Harrisburg
Kathy Madison
Kerry N Tappin
KinderCare (Eden Rd)
KinderCare 301284
Learning and Sharing
Liberty Elementary School
Little Breeches Family Daycare
Little Hearts Day Care
Little People DC of Columbia
Little World Daycare
Loving Hearts Day Care Inc.
Martinez Family Daycare
Mikayla's Place
Mikayla's Place
Milton YMCA School Age Child Care
Moo Moo's Daycare
Ms. Cindy's Place
NHS Preschool
Noah and Company Day Care
Noah's Ark Christian Learning
Patricia Walker
Reyes Group
Stepping Stones - Elkland
Studio Kids
Sunshine Christian - Locust St.
Tender Years Child Development Center IV
The Imagination Station
The Imagination Station Too
Thompson Day Care
Tracy Adams
Ward L Myers
Wonder Years CCC York
YWCA CC @ Adams Commerce

PA One Book Event: March 23rd at 8:00 in Harrisburg

Do the PA One Book Classic Countdown!
Help countdown to the launch of the 2017 PA One Book, Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer. 

The beginning of January kicked off an exploration of the past PA One Book selections. Follow PA One Book on Facebook and PA One Book on Instagram to get fun activities to do with your child and the classic PA One Book, watch the video of the author reading the book, and share your experiences with the book. Check back each day for something new and exciting!

Not into social media? You can still do the Classic Countdown! Visit PA's Promise for Children to find the fun activities, the videos and share your experiences.

What's coming in January

  • Week of January 2: Inside Mouse, Outside Mouse by Lindsay Barrett George.
  • Week of January 9: A Splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom
  • Week of January 16: Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres
  • Week of January 23: If You Were a Penguin by Wendell and Florence Minor
  • Week of January 30: What a Treasure! by Jane and Will Hillenbrand

Health & Safety News - Anne Dodds 

ECELS Child Abuse and Neglect (Mandated Reporter) Self-Learning Module 
Do you have new staff at your program that need Mandated Reporter professional development? Are you aware of the nationally recognized protective factors to support families? The ECELS Child Abuse and Neglect (Child Abuse Mandated Reporter) Self-Learning Module focuses on prevention and addresses the unique setting of early care and education programs. View interviews with early care and education staff and Children and Youth staff. The module describes your responsibilities as a mandated reporter as required by the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) and meets Act 31 and Act 48 criteria for required training. Read the complete description and view the module here. There is a $15 per person review fee. When ready to submit a module, select "Click Here to Order SLM Reviews" and complete the form. For questions, contact ECELS: or 800-243-2357.

Child Care Health Advocate College Course
Register now for the entirely online, Child Care Health Advocate Course. This 3 (college) credit - hour course from Northampton Community College (NCC) can help your program implement the practices from the Health and Safety Basics- Requirements for Certification course.  The spring term runs  January 17 – May 15, 2017 .  The course includes live interactive online sessions. Nurse instructors teach the course online. Dr. Susan Aronson is (volunteer) guest faculty. Nearly 200 students have taken the course and shared that they have improved the quality of their programs with the assignments that involve implementation in their programs.

Register early to participate in the upcoming term.  See the attached flyer for registration details. Pennsylvania students can use Rising STARS Tuition Assistance  ( )  for reimbursement. The Mid-State Regional Key will be sponsoring a section of the course for the spring term.   

ECELS is providing a free copy of the new American Academy of Pediatrics resource,   Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools, 4th Ed. for every student that enrolls in the CCHA
Family Provider News

New Online Orientation for Prospective Family Child Care Homes

Part 1 of the orientation for prospective family child care homes is now available online. Although it is not required until February 1, 2017, the new online orientation is free and accessible 24 hours a day. The session includes

  • An overview of child care regulations
  • Application process
  • What to expect in an inspection

The session, which you can take in increments, includes videos and quizzes and provides a good overview of the expectations of operating a family child care home. 

As of February 1, 2017, prospective providers of family child care homes will be required to take the online orientation (Part 1) and then schedule and attend the face-to-face orientation afterwards (Part 2). Prospective providers must bring a valid form of ID, along with the certificate of completion from the Part 1 online orientation, to the Part 2 face-to-face orientation.

In order to complete the online orientation, you must visit the Better Kid Care website. For more information, contact your Regional OCDEL office. 

Infant & Toddler News - Kim Alloway 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all of people in the Mid-State Regional Key who provide care and education to our youngest residents in Pennsylvania!

Some of the Infant Toddler Specialists from across Pennsylvania (including myself) are enrolled in an exciting pilot project from the organization called Zero to Three. Over the next several months we will be taking part in a Credential Program so that we are able to train others in the State on Infant Toddler Competencies.

Doing this work has reminded me of what a valuable resource the Zero to Three website is, and I would encourage you to check it out!

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about our youngest children, I am always happy to assist you. 

SACC News - Rhea Simmons 

Partnering with School Leadership
Effective communication with your school leadership can improve the quality of the program for your children and families. Whether your school age program is hosted in a school, or at a site away from the school where your children attend, developing a positive relationship with school leaders is key.
Before school starts, schedule a meeting with the school administrator. In addition to information about the school schedule, items to discuss can include a review of new or revised school policies and procedures, policies on communication between school and program staff, and opportunities for collaboration between the school and the after school program. Be sure to bring an updated copy of your  program handbook with you to the meeting. For school-based programs, these meetings are opportunities to reflect on what worked well in the past, and discuss ways the school and the program can work together for the benefit of the students. Contact your SACC TA for a checklist of  additional topics you can discuss.  

Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting!

Director Discussion - 1/11/17 at Panera Bread on Carlisle Rd. in York at 2:00 - with Carrie

STAR 1 for Spanish Speaking Providers - 1/14/17 at Luthercare Lebanon at 10 - with Jen D. - tentative 

Shared Service Training - 1/18/17 at Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way at 11:00 - with Michaelle 

Director Roundtable & Mentoring - 1/18/17 at Panera Bread on Atherton in State College at 9:00 - with Elizabeth & Carol

Director Roundtable & Mentoring - 1/18/17 at Penn College at 1:00 - with Erica G. & Carol

Director Roundtable - 1/19/17 at Carlisle United Way at 12:30 - with Christina 

Grant Closure - 1/25/16 at Panera Bread on Carlisle Rd in York at 2:00 - with Carrie

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

  • 1/19/17 at Carlisle United Way at 12:30 – Christina
  • 1/24/17 at Lebanon YMCA at 1 - Corrie        
  • 1/26/17 at Lancaster Penn State at 12:30 – Jenn  

ABC's of Behavior PD - 1/11/17 at First Baptist Church in Troy at 2:00. RSVP to  

Lycoming Provider Meeting - 1/19/17 at River Valley YMCA in Williamsport at 11. RSVP to Angela Mamrak at 

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

Core Series Training

Other Training Organizations & Online Training 

An Opportunity from Walden University - from PennAEYC 

As some of you may know, NAEYC recently entered a sponsorship with Walden University to support all members who are interested in seeking opportunities for career growth through continuing education.
In light of the New Year, Walden University is hosting an online webinar for PennAEYC members to learn more about the relationship, and get information on their online programs. If you are thinking about returning to school – now’s the time to do it!
Walden University offers a number of accredited online programs at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degree levels. Through the sponsorship, all  members and affiliate employees will be eligible to receive a 15% discount on Walden’s programs including the BS in Psychology w/ a Concentration in Child Development, BS in Elementary Education, MS in Early Childhood Studies (Competency-based and course-based track), and the Doctor of Education. Students beginning a program January 9, 2017 through May 30, 2017 will be eligible to receive a 20% discount plus grants for select programs.
For more information about the partnership and program options, please join us for a webinar on Wednesday, January 18th at 6pm EST. For more information or to register, email

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

McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership: 5 Simple Ways to Create a Pleasant Work Environment 

As an early childhood program leader, you already know that having consistent teaching staff is important for young children and families. In our latest blog post, Leslie Gilbert, a Leadership Specialist Trainer, explores five free and simple ways to improve teacher retention by creating a pleasant work environment.
What simple things do you do to create a pleasant place to work? Comment on this blog post to share your ideas with other early childhood leaders.

Research Study

The Penn State College of Medicine is working with Research Matters on a project designed to learn more about the effectiveness  of the iLook Out for Child Abuse (iLookOut) online learning module.  
Click here for more information and to participate.  

If you have any questions, please contact Nicole Verdiglione ( or 717.531.0003 Ex. 283765. We thank you for helping us improve the iLook Out for Child Abuse online learning module.  We look forward to hear your feedback.

Enter to Win a Children's Book!

PA's Promise for Children is helping you build your child's home library with the January 2017 Book-A-Day Giveaway! During January, one entry each day will be selected to receive a copy of the book, Stone Soup by Marcia Brown. Enter today! Click here to enter.  

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