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. 
OCDEL News & Updates

Online Orientation Now Available:
Don't Wait, Start Today! 

The free, four-hour online orientation training (Part 1) is available now, so there's no need to wait to begin the process if you're not planning to register and attend a face-to-face orientation (Part 2) until after January 31, 2017.  

Anyone who has registered AND attended a face-to-face orientation BEFORE February 2017 will NOT be required to do the online orientation training. 

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 

Part 1, the new online orientation, is free and accessible 24 hours a day.  There's no reason to wait, you can start today! The session includes:

  • An overview of child care regulations
  • Application process
  • What to expect during an inspection
  • Clearance requirements
  • Business papers
  • Certificate of occupancy
  • Recognizing safety hazards
  • Information about child care subsidy
  • Keystone STARS and early intervention

The four-hour online Part 1 orientation session, which you can take in smaller increments, includes videos and quizzes. It also provides a good overview of the expectations of operating a family child care home.  

Once you have completed the online orientation, you can schedule the face-to-face orientation (Part 2) with your Regional OCDEL office. You can find the Regional OCDEL office that serves your county at the following link: Click Here
STARS Re-Visioning Updates 

Indicator Surveys

OCDEL is requesting your feedback, to help guide the new STARS indicators/standards. There are three surveys available; one each for Centers, Groups, and Family providers. Feel free to take one or all, and visit the other pages under STARS Re-Visioning for more details or to participate in an online work groups. 

OCDEL is also inviting all stakeholders to participate on one of two public webinars on January 19, 2017 for an update on the Keystone STARS Re-visioning work. Sign-up via the links below:

    STARS Updates from the Mid-State RK

    Certification & STARS Meeting

    Our STARS team recently met with the Central Region Certification team, where we discussed our growing partnership. In the future, you may see us shadowing each other's visits, to help build our partnership and learn more about what strategies we can use in best supporting you!  

    Items Available for Sale

    CCC has a few laptops and desktops available for sale.  These have been completely wiped and have nothing but the operating system on them.  They do not have software on them so that would have to be purchased separately. 

    Brand     Model           RAM    CPU        HDD     OS    Price
    Dell    Inspiron             8GB    i3-4150    1TB       XP    $225
    Dell    LatitudeE4200   3GB   C2D 1.4   120GB   7       $150
    Dell    Latitude E6400  1GB   C2D 2.4   75GB     XP    $100 

    In addition to these machines, we have 3 chairs on wheels and 6 chairs not on wheels.


    Health & Safety News - Anne Dodds 

    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

    Family, Friend & Neighbor Care

    Caring for the children of family, friends or neighbors is incredibly important work. To help you provide the best care possible for the children and families you serve, ZERO TO THREE developed resources to support you in this work.

    Infant & Toddler News - Alyssa Hahn 

    Information from Caring for our Children 

    Infants should be directly observed by SIGHT and SOUND at all times, including when they are going to sleep, are sleeping, or are in the process of waking up. The lighting in the room must allow the caregiver/teacher to see each infant’s face, to view the color of their skin, and to check on their breathing and placement of the pacifier. 

    Consider purchasing lamps for your space for nap time, so you can still see the children, but the lighting is less harsh.

    SACC News 

    Video: Using Child Assessment Data to Achieve Positive Outcomes The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) provides resources to build states' capacity to enhance child outcomes. Available is a new video by the Colorado Department of Education which shows administrators and teachers illustrating how they use authentic child assessment data to: 1) inform funders, 2) inform classroom level instruction, 3) support teachers, and 4) meet the needs of individual children and their families. Pennsylvania's Kindergarten Entry Inventory (KEI) is one of the selected assessment resources provided. 

    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 - with Michaelle 

    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. 1/24/17 at Lebanon YMCA at 1 - with Corrie               1/26/17 at Lancaster Penn State Coop at 12:30 - with Jenn 

    RSVP to Stephanie at 

    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

    • ECERS-3 in Elizabethtown on January 5th 
    • STARS Orientation in Harrisburg on 1/19 - Part 1 from 9-12 and Part II from 12:30-3:30.
    • CKC 1/19/17 in Lancaster

    Other Training Organizations & Online Training 

    Tips for Success with Online Courses

    When accessing online courses from the PA Key be advised that Google Chrome and Firefox are the best browsers to use. Internet Explorer is not always compatible with the Registry and is not recommended for viewing PA Key web courses. Safari is also acceptable for smartphones and tablets.

    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.

    News from our other ECE Partners

    CAAEYC Conference
    CAAEYC is excited to announce that registration for our March 11, 2017 early childhood conference will open January 4, 2017! The direct link to register will be posted on our website at that time. 
    Please take a moment to read below about the specific information needed for each individual in order to successfully register for the event. 

    Please take time to review the conference brochure and make selections so you are prepared when registering. Seating is limited and sessions fill quickly!

    Registration is completed online with a credit card payment only and there is important information you will need when registering.

    Name, Email Address, &  Phone Number

    PD Registry Number: This number is unique to each individual and this is how you will receive credit for the conference! The number is found at the bottom of the page once you login on the home page of the PA Keys website ( If you don't have a user account, you must create one to obtain the number. Click "login" on the home page then New Users Create an Account Here

    NAEYC Membership Number/ Expiration Date if registering as a member to receive the discounted rate.

    AM, PM and Lunch/Exhibitor Selections

    If you are a director registering numerous people in one order it is a good idea to gather everyone's information ahead of time before you sit down to actually register everyone. There is a time limit when registering so it will be wise to be prepared. 
    You can register everyone at the same time but there's no group rate. You, as the ticket buyer, will select each ticket type and quantity of each (2 members, 6 non members, for example) then enter each person's personal information. You can then pay for everyone at one time. 

    Contact Dara at with any additional questions. We look forward to another exciting conference in 2017!

    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