Welcome to the Mid-State Regional Key STARS Newsletter!! If there are others that you know that would benefit from this information, please forward this email to them to sign up. 
Revised Keystone STARS logo & Guidelines
OCDEL has made available a revised Keystone STARS logo and guidelines on the logo usage. Find out what you need to know  about where, when and how to properly use the Keystone STARS logo to promote your participation in Keystone STARS!   
STARS Re-Visioning & Core Principles 

In February 2016, Pennsylvania launched the Keystone STARS Revisioning process to ensure that
more providers will participate and provide higher quality services to more young children. For  periodic updates on the process and ways to participate, visit PA Keys.

It is the priority of the departments of Human Services and Education and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to provide families access to high-quality services that effectively prepare children for school and life success. Our children's success directly impacts our commonwealth's success as a whole.

In continuing that effort, we are excited to announce Suzann Morris as the new deputy secretary for OCDEL. Suzann has been a part of the OCDEL executive leadership team since 2015, serving as Director of External Relations. In this role, she has been a liaison with OCDEL stakeholders and leadership councils and developed analyses and determined policy recommendations across the Office. With nearly 10 years of public policy experience, Suzann has been a strong advocate for young children and families and understands how to leverage internal and external resources to improve and expand early learning services...Read more

If you participated in the "Meet OCDEL" session at the 2016 ECE Summit, new OCDEL Deputy Secretary Suzann Morris challenged you to let us know what ONE THING OCDEL should do in the coming year to improve the early childhood education system.  Visit our online survey to answer this key question

Prepare Now for the Next Provider Self-Service (PSS) Release

Here are important steps to take and things you need to know before the next PSS release on Saturday, November 12. After November 12, all existing applications that are in-progress (save and quit) will be lost.

Warning! Don't lose your data! All existing applications in PSS that are in-progress (save and quit) will be deleted after the next PSS update is released on Saturday, November 12, 2016.

Actions Required for All In-Progress Applications. By Friday, November 11: This is the deadline to submit or withdraw all in-progress (save and quit) applications for all provider types before they are removed completely. 

Freeze Period on FCCH Applications: 10-31-16 through 11-12-16. Do not create any new Family Child Care Home (FCCH) applications between Monday, October 31 and Saturday, November 12.

Questions? Contact the PELICAN Provider Help Desk.         Phone: 1-877-491-3818  Email:       You may also contact your Regional Certification Office for assistance.

Invitation to participate in OCDEL's P-3 Networking meeting: Strengthening Connections Across Pennsylvania, Building sustainability for community partnerships

Leaders and community partners throughout Pennsylvania are invited to participate in the PA's Office of Child Development and Early Learning's P-3 Networking Meeting: Strengthening Connections Across Pennsylvania. Participants will build sustainability through engagement, be part of a statewide learning exchange, and step into a role as a meeting designer through experiencing a well-planned networking meeting.  

This event will be held November 28-30, 2016 in Gettysburg, PA. Although there is no cost to attend, space is limited and registration is required. Those interested should apply now! For more information and how to register, please see the brochure at the PA Key website. Please share this opportunity with those who lead and support early learning opportunities for Pennsylvania's children and their families.

Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting!

Director Meeting - Guest speakers from LIU. November 1st at 12:30 - Cross Keys Village in New Oxford (Christina) 

Grant Writing - November 2nd from 9:30-11 at Panera Bread on Carlisle Rd. in York (Carrie & Jen)

Grant Writing - November 9th from 9-10:30 at Bennett Family Center in State College (Elizabeth & Jenn) 

Grant Writing - November 9th from 1-2:30 at Penn College in Williamsport (Erica G & Jenn)

Career Lattice & Designation -  November 16th 1-3pm - Panera Bread, Union Deposit Harrisburg (Corrie & Tammy)

Directors Roundtable - November 17th from 12:30-2:30 at the United Way of Carlisle (Christina)

Other Community Events

Lycoming County Provider Meeting - November 10th from 2-4 at Penn College in Williamsport

RSVP to Stephanie at 

Professional Development Updates

Tips for Tracking PD Hours

PD Hours – do you have a system to review these monthly?  Are your staff getting new hours every time a certificate expires?  Did you know that there is NO “STARS year” when it comes to adding up hours?  PD hours are good for 1 year.  You and your staff should have your required hours at any time throughout the year.  

CDA / SACC Credential – do you track your staff’s expiration dates?  If training/college hours are needed to renew, you should start that process ONE YEAR prior to your expiration date to have time to complete all of the necessary requirements.  You will NOT be eligible for an ERA if your certificate is expired

Pediatric First Aid & CPR – do you track your staff’s expiration dates?  Make sure you are using an Instructor that teaches from one of the APPROVED curriculums and that they provide you & your staff with a card that says PEDIATRIC FIRST AID & CPR (specifically!)  Do not wait until a month or two before you expire to find a training – plan this 4-6 months in advance.

PA Promise announces 2017 One Book

Woo-hoo! Let's celebrate the 2017 PA One Book selection, Daniel Finds a Poem written and illustrated by Micha Archer! 

With beautiful illustrations and a great story about a boy who is on a mission to find out "What is poetry?" this book will help children explore and understand nature while seeing poetry everywhere through Daniel's experience.

Interested in ordering copies of the book? Use the order form. Keep a look out for some great activity ideas to do with your child that connect to this year's book. If you do an upcoming activity, or one from past PA One Books, use #PAOneBook to tag your activity on social media.

Like the PA One Book page on Facebook and follow PA One Book on Instagram@paonebook for up to date information on all things happening with PA One Book!  

Registration for the School Age Mini Conference is now open! We invite you to our workshop in Lewisburg for a stimulating day of classes especially designed to meet the needs of School Age Care Providers.Please see the registration form for more information. We hope you can join us!

SACC TA is available to all STARS providers that provide care to school-age children. See the SACC TA flyer for more details, and for exciting information about free resources!!

TA Request Form

MERA Grants Now Available
MERA Grant documents for 2016-17 are now available! 
Please refer to the email & documents sent out on October 7th for all the information you need to apply.
Contact your STARS Specialist for specific questions  .   

Keeping Kids Safe in Car Seats

Safe Kids Worldwide offers an online resource, The Ultimate Car Seat Guide, with practical tips to keep kids safe in cars. Browse basic tips that includes information on buying and installing a car seat, getting the right fit, and when to change a car seat. You can also provide your child's birth date and weight and get personalized tips. 

Enter to Win a resource book from ECELS
  Enter the ECELS raffle to win a copy of the newly-updated, award-winning guide "Managing Infectious Diseases In Child Care and Schools 4th Edition" . For more information on the raffle click here.  
Early Childhood Investigations Webinars
Training from Early Childhood Investigations now counts towards STARS hours, by offering CEU's through the University of Oklahoma!

Your weekend fun! PD in your "spare" time!
Enjoy any recordings and slides you may have missed. Cl ick on the button for the webinar you want to watch. Click watch recording or download slides. Register. Watch.  Write down link to certificate announced at the end. Enter link into your browser. Reflect.

Upcoming Webinars 

Promoting LiteracyDevelopmentally Appropriately: The Administrator’s Role - 11/16 at 2

Professionalizing Early Childhood Education : Your Role in theNext Era - 11/30 at 2

Other 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