Welcome to the Mid-State Regional Key STARS Newsletter!! 

Child Care Consultants' upcoming Denim & Diamonds fundraiser will be held on April 6th at LSC Design in York. Register Here.

STARS Updates from the Mid-State RK

Email Addresses on the PD Registry

All users on the PD Registry should have their own email address set up in the PA Keys portal. Visit, log-in, and ensure that you have your own individual email listed there. Make sure to use an email address that you are able to check regularly. This is how you are informed of updated or cancelled training sessions. Directors, please share with your staff!

Health & Safety News - Anne Dodds


New American Academy of Pediatrics Infant Safe Sleep Recommendations and CFOC3 Update

ECELS is updating a previously posted health capsule to reflect new recommendations.

New recommendations for prevention of sleep-related infant deaths have been released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Infants should be put to sleep on their backs for the first year of life. Comfortable rolling over from back to front and back to back again should be observed by the person/people who put the infant down to sleep to influence that person’s decision about whether to return the child to back positioning if the child rolls over onto his/her tummy. Infants should sleep on a firm and flat sleep surface, without any loose bedding, and not in any type of seating device. Infants should not be placed to sleep on soft bedding or soft furniture. Overheating and head covering should be avoided. Additional recommendations for SIDS reduction include breastfeeding; routine immunization; and offering a pacifier at nap and bedtime. Families should be advised to avoid prenatal and any later exposure to smoke, use of alcohol and illicit drugs and bed sharing with their infants.

The AAP urges child care providers to model safe sleep practices and offer supervised “tummy time” when babies are awake. Tummy time promotes healthy development of neck muscles and helps prevent flattening of the back of the head.

To read the actual policy statement, go to

View the updated Caring For Our Children, Third Edition (CFOC3) standard at Standard Safe Sleep Practices and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID)/SIDS Risk Reduction
Family Provider News

On February 28th, there was a STARS Re-visioning PD/Coaching/Cross-Systems Partnerships workgroup webinar discussing the possible delivery approach for coaching. OCDEL is seeking feedback from early childhood stakeholders throughout PA. We have attached a 2 page document that explains the possible delivery approach for coaching and 2 questions about it. 

It is important that we hear the perspective of Family Child Care providers like you. Now is the time for you to let us know what you think and what suggestions you may have.  

Feedback and questions can be sent to Wendy Whitesell, the PA Key Director, at   

We also encourage you to visit the PA Key website with updates about the STARS Re-visioning progress.  The web address is:

Infant & Toddler News - Kim Alloway 

From the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundation for Early Learning: We all struggle with children who may have challenging behaviors and actions in our classrooms. This is the first step that we can take to help them in getting their needs met.

  • Watching children – careful observation
  • Behavior is a form of communication -children tell us their needs and wants
  • Focus on the child. Ask “What is the child trying to tell me?” and “I wonder…”
  • Create a best guess (hypothesis) and choose supportive ways to respond

CSEFEL is a fantastic resource that every teacher should look at and become familiar with.

The website is

SACC News -Rhea Simmons


Most school age programs serve an after school snack each day. Snack time is a great way to wind down from the day, reconnect with friends, and be a healthy way to control hunger between meals. Unfortunately, too often we confuse snacks with treats. Snacks are nutritious foods, eaten to nourish your body, and are an appropriate part of a healthy daily diet.  Treats are foods that are unusual, or unexpected, to be enjoyed once in a while or during special occasions. Treats are often loaded with additional sugar, salt, fat, and calories, with little or no nutritional value. In 2016, the USDA revised its guidelines on meal patterns to include a greater variety of fruits and vegetables, more whole grains and less added sugar, salt and fat. These changes also affect what constitutes healthy snacks according to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

A link to the updated guidelines can be found below:

The updated guidelines that may have impact on School Age programs are those that regarding grain based desserts.  The list of foods that will no longer be creditable in the CACFP after October 1, 2017 are listed in this link:                                

In honor of CACFP Week March 12th -18th, we have posted healthy snack ideas on the Childcare Consultants Facebook page- be sure to check it out!  In the next CCC newsletter, there will be more suggestions for ways to incorporate healthy snacks into your after school program.  

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! 

  • 3/18/17 at Park City in Lancaster from 9:30-11:30 -with Jen  
  • 3/22/17 at Panera on Carlisle Rd. in York from 1:30-3 - with Carrie

 Director's Roundtable

  • 3/21/17 at Panera Bread in Williamsport at 9:30 - with Erica G & Tammy (topic - Designation)
  • 4/5/17 at Panera Bread in Harrisburg at 9:30 - with Carrie
  • 4/13/17 at Giant Community Room in Camp Hill at 12:30 with Christina

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. 3/22/17 at 10 at Lewistown Children's Center - with Michaelle 

Lycoming Early Learning Team Meeting 3/23/17 at 11 at East Lycoming SD office 349 Cemetary St. in Hughesville 

PennAEYC Voice Awards 4/7/17 at 6-9 pm 

ECE Coalition Meeting 4/12/17 at 1 at BLaST Intermediate Unit 17, 33 Springbrook Drive, Canton 

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

Training Lists  

Core Series Training

Other Training Organizations & Online Training 

Training Highlights

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

  The 2017 PA One Book; Every Young Child has finally arrived!  This year's selection, Daniel Finds a Poem, written and illustrated by Micha Archer, is a story about a boy who goes on an adventure through a park trying to find answers to his question, “What is poetry?”

Do you want a chance to win a copy of this year’s PA One Book?

To help promote reading early and often to children in homes and early learning programs throughout Pennsylvania, one winner will be selected at random EVERY DAY from March 19 to April 30, 2017 to receive a copy of Daniel Finds a Poem

Click here for a chance to win a copy of Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer.

Newsletters and Community Resources 

WOYC Events

  • Adams - Save the date for April 29th in Gettysburg, from 10-1 for a Family Event.
  • York - Teacher Celebration Event April 28th at the Outdoor Country Club of York from 6-9. Register Here. 

QRIS National Newsletters  New Resources Available! 
Baby Talk Newsletter  
Better Kid Care Buzz  - March Newsletter Released!
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