Mid-State Regional Key
A Leader In Community Services

Welcome to the Mid-State Regional Key STARS Newsletter!!
Check out our MSRK Contact List & Facebook Page !!
Free Resources!!

In last week's newsletter, we highlighted the Mentoring program and provided applications to apply. If you choose to be part of the program, and are working with a Mentor to move up in STARS, you are eligible to receive lots of free resources. Some items that we have provided in the past include the Early Learning Standards, PAS/BAS books, FLIP It, Building your Bounce, and Calendar keepers.

We hope that you consider attending our STAR 1 Move Up events, where these resources will also be available. The next event will be held on November 18th at Nook Sports in Manheim. We will be scheduling these events monthly in different locations.

Learn more about November's Shine the Light event.
Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework
Strengthening Families™ is an approach to working with families that builds upon family strengths, rather than focusing on deficits. It is not a curriculum or a program, but instead offers a framework of five research-based Protective Factors that give families what they need to parent effectively. When these protective factors are robust in families the likelihood of child abu se and neglect is reduced. This approach benefits all families, not just those experiencing stress.

In Pennsylvania this approach has been adopted throughout several family-serving systems. The Strengthening Families Leadership Team provides professional development, coordinates messaging and offers networking opportunities for providers implementing the approach.

Learn more about the framework and talk to your Quality Coach about using the framework to meet STAR 3 and STAR 4 indicator points.   
MSRK invites you to be part of the After-School Quality Project!

Facilitated by your SACC TA; program leadership, staff, families, children, school representatives, and community stakeholders form the ASQ team. Each member of the team plays a part in assessing the School Age program and comes together to form a shared vision of quality. Then the team develops a plan to make the vision a reality! Programs that participate in this initiative will receive FREE resources, expert technical support, and ongoing professional development. Apply Today!
STARS Renewal Process

If you have not submitted your renewal paperwork to your Quality Coach , please consider doing so. The following 3 documents complete your renewal:

a.    Request for STAR Designation - all 7 pages

Steps for completing an ECT (Enrollment Calculation Tool):

  1. You must enter every child enrolled in your program (if they were absent a day in the week you chose, you would still count them for every day they are ENROLLED.
  2. Use one tab for each age group/classroom (it is helpful if you enter the children in the SAME order that they appear on your classroom/center attendance sheets.)
  3. Enter date completed on the top of each tab
  4. Enter date you are using on the first tab (what week?)
  5. Enter classroom name & teacher’s name on the top of each tab
  6. Enter age group of child (one tab for each)
  7. Use table on the right to determine the number you enter.
  8. You must use a week of enrollment from July 1, 2017 – April 30, 2018 that reflects a NORMAL week in your program (no inflated summer numbers).
  9. You must submit your CCIS attendance from the month that you used.
  10. You must submit attendance sheets from the week that you used.
  11. You must submit any IEP/IFSP cover sheets (with child’s name & date) for any that you used to meet 10% eligibility.
  12. EVERY program must complete this. If you have already submitted your renewal, please submit this to your coach ASAP. If you have not yet submitted your renewal, send this with your renewal paperwork.
  13. Click here for the ECT Instruction pages
Tuck in your Child by 8 - Kim Alloway
from Time Magazine; Special Edition, The Science of Childhood, 2017.

Score one for early bedtimes: preschoolers who go to bed by 8:00 PM are about half as likely to be obese teens as kids who stay up past 9 PM, according to a recent study in the Journal of Pediatrics. Having a regular bedtime seems to be part of the credit: another recent study found that 3-year-olds with inconsistent bedtimes were nearly twice as likely to be obese as those with regular ones. That may be because children who have a regular early bedtime are more likely to get enough sleep and less likely to stay up late watching TV and snacking, says Sarah Anderson, author of both recent studies and an associate professor of epidemiology at Ohio State University. “Not getting enough sleep can result in changes in the hormones regulating appetite and metabolism”, she says.
Homework in After-School Part II - Rhea Simmons

Last week’s article focused on examining your program’s vision as a starting point for developing homework policies. Understanding the needs of the community is also key to having a homework policy that is aligned with your philosophy and that meets the needs of the families you serve.
Determining how much time, if any, to devote to homework completion should be based primarily on the needs of the children in your care, and the families that you serve. Low income children and children whose parents don’t speak English need homework support in different ways and for different reasons than children who are headed for ballet practice when they are picked up. And all children need opportunities to play or engage in hands on learning experiences, including and perhaps especially, those who live in less safe neighborhoods and are struggling with low achievement. 
Similarly, parents do want homework to be completed after school for some of the reasons stated above. This is not always the case however. Sometimes an opportunity for their children to get physical exercise and/or social interaction is equally (or more) important to parents. And some parents have admitted that after a long day, don’t have the time or energy to deal with homework struggles.
Responding to the needs of children and parents around homework can take many forms. Providing direct homework support in the program is one way. Indirect support by ensuring active children have an opportunity to play during your program so that they are more able to focus at home is another way to support homework. Providing articles and resources to parents on how to help their children with homework, or directing them to resources for academic help also supports parents and children in reaching their academic goals. Communicating your policies around homework in your parent handbook helps families to know what they can expect in this area.
Staff capacity and creating an environment conducive to study are critical pieces to consider when establishing homework policies. These will be discussed in the next article.
Registration open for the 2017 Family Engagement Conference

Now is the time for families to register for the Family Engagement Conference 2017 Supporting Strong Partnerships for Children's School Readiness and Achievement . This one-day, free Conference is focused on family engagement strategies and innovative practices. It is informed by families and professionals, for families and professionals. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in engaging workshops, café conversations, networking and access resources.

The conference will be held at two different locations: November 14 in Harrisburg and November 15 in Scranton and is open to all prenatal through 3rd Grade (P-3) stakeholders including: Family and Community Leaders, Administrators and Educators, Early Intervention staff, Home Visitors and Family Support professionals. 

Share this information with the families in your program and encourage them to attend. Scholarships are available to support family participation (reimbursement for mileage, lodging, and childcare).

This initiative is in part by Pennsylvania's Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge grant. For more information on other initiatives funded by this grant, visit the  Pennsylvania Department of Education website
Child Care Exchange Articles

Exchange Press offers over 40 online courses for directors and teachers on a wide-range of important topics, including leadership, child development, curriculum, environments, families, and more.

1. Download a set of articles to study at your leisure.
2. Take an online exam when you're ready.
3. Receive your CEUs from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

ERS Training Sessions Scheduled!

These will be held on February 10th at Giant on Linglestown Rd.

Foundations: 9:30 – 11:30 am
ECERS-R: 11:45 am – 1:45 pm
ITERS-R: 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting!        Email to RSVP  

Moving to STAR 2  October 17th from 6:30-8 at Lebanon CCIS  - with Stephanie Spitz

ERS Workgroup  October 19th from 10-12 at Lewistown Children's Center  - with Michaelle & Beth Simon

PD Registry Workgroup  October 24th from 9:30-11:30 at CAECTI  - with Corrie & Paula Alcock

Church Based Workgroup  October 25th from 9-11 at First Church of the Brethren in York  - with Carrie

POI Workgroup  October 26th from 10-12 in Lycoming Co (location TBD) - with Erica & Patty Carroll
Other Community Meetings & Events  

Clinton County LICC  October 25 at 9:30 at Infant Development Program

Kindergarten Transition Conference  October 26  in Harrisburg  Register Here

York Early Learning Conference November 4 in York Register Here

PennSACCA Conference  November 10 & 11 in Harrisburg  Register Here

Family Engagement Conference  November 14 in Harrisburg  Register Here
Professional Development Updates    Register on the   PD Registry 
Mid-State Training List   - updated 10/11/17

Professional Development Highlights

Credentials & Higher Education
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    info@childcareconsultants.org