Mid-State Regional Key
A Leader In Community Services

Welcome to the Mid-State Regional Key STARS Newsletter!!
Keystone STARS Crosswalk for PACCA Members

PACCA has compiled a cross-walk of the current (2016-2017) Keystone STARS standards and the standards of the revisioned Keystone STARS, that will be effective July 1, 2017.  The crosswalk will be available to all PACCA members in the “Resources” area of the Members section PACCA website. We will all continue to learn more about the new system as the pilot programs move through the next several months!  In the meantime, we hope this tool is helpful in understanding how the new system is designed to be respectful of the rich diversity of early care and learning programs across the commonwealth. The crosswalk is available in the Membership Menu/Resources/PACCA White Papers & Reports. PACCA members will need to LOGIN to access the document.  

Pennsylvania Department of Revenue - OCDEL Partnership 

Since 2008, The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has partnered with the Department of Revenue to ensure tax obligation compliance for Keystone STARS entities and providers. Although this is not a new process, recent changes from a manual process to an automated and proactive compliance check has increased efficiency and outreach. 

Since this is a time sensitive process, a final part of the process will include Regional Keys reaching out to Keystone STARS providers, identified by Revenue as non-compliant, to encourage them to quickly contact Revenue to resolve the issue. 

Entities and providers with questions should contact: 
Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, Bureau of Compliance 
4th and Walnut Street 
Harrisburg, PA 17128 
Phone Number (717) 787-3911 Option 5
Mini-Grant Opportunity from PA NAP SAC: Deadline August 18 

A new grant opportunity helps Licensed Child Care Centers, Group, and Family Child Care Homes serving children birth - five make a pivotal difference in their lives by helping them form positive nutrition and physical activity habits while in their care. Apply now for the PA Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (PA NAP SACC), an interactive, easy-to-use online tool that provides professional development for child care providers. This completely web-based process includes self-assessment, action planning, implementation, policy development, post-self assessment, and reflection. The implementation process includes free, online professional development opportunities in CBK knowledge area 7 (K7): Health, Safety and Nutrition. For more information, see the full announcement or preview the application questions.

September 30th - Don't forget this date!

More Than Health & Safety - Meet Federal Requirements, too!

What: Free online training for nine of the 10 required topics for child care staff. 

Why: The trainings are to help meet the new health and safety training requirements of the federal Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) that all child care directors and staff are to complete training on 10 health and safety topics by September 30, 2017. Completing these free modules (covering nine of 10 required topics) also means you earn annual training hours! 

How: The free, six-hour "Health & Safety Basics: Requirements for Certification " course is available online through Better Kid Care, or in person through your Regional Key. 

When: Now! The CCDBG deadline is September 20, 2017, but don't wait until the last minute. Because the courses are available online, you can take them in the evenings or on the weekend! 

Your next step? Visit the PA Key or contact your Regional Key for more information, or access the online training for free at the Better Kid Care website and get started today!
Have you completed the required Health & Safety Training yet?
August is National Immunization Awareness Month

We all need shots (also called vaccinations or immunizations) to help protect us from serious diseases. Shots can prevent serious diseases like the flu, measles, and pneumonia. It's important to know which shots you need and when to get them. Everyone age 6 months and older needs to get a flu vaccine every year. Many other shots work best when they are given at certain ages.
Talk to your doctor or nurse to make sure that everyone in your family gets the shots they need. Click here for more information. 

What to do if you can't afford vaccinations for your child? The PA Vaccines for Children Program provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay. You can also apply for the PA Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that includes coverage like vaccines.
Incorporate STEM Learning Into Your Everyday Summer Play! - Kim Alloway 
Everyday summer moments are a chance to dive into concepts like science, technology, engineering and math! Count together the number of times your child goes down the slide at the playground. Talk about swinging while on the swing set. Perhaps your toddler is ready to begin grasping the concept that pumping his legs to go higher. Collect rocks and separate them by features (color, size, shape) then count each group and determine which has the most. Count the number of steps it takes to get to your front door. All of these simple concepts lay the groundwork for analytical thinking. Take a moment to check out this video (and others) on the Zero to Three Website.

After School Quality: Engaging Schools - Rhea Simmons 

Schools have a role as partners in our after school programs. Many programs take place in school settings, but even if they don’t they still can have a major impact on the operations quality of your program. Engaging teachers, administrators and other school personnel in your school age program has always been an ERS quality indicator. The ASQ process is a great way to begin or strengthen relationships between your afterschool program and the school. 

Involving the school community as members of the ASQ stakeholder team gives them insight into the ways students spend their time outside school hours. Teachers, staff and administrators can begin to see your work with children as a way to help them meet their student achievement goals or to enhance learning in the content areas. They can be your allies in securing resources for your programs, or removing barriers to reaching your quality improvement goals. 

For more information on the role of the school community in ASQ, talk to your SACC Specialist, visit the PA Keys website

Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting!            Email Stephanie to RSVP 

ERS Work Group with Amy Hoffman  8/2/17, 10:00-11:30, at Panera Bread, Carlisle Rd, York with Carrie 

STARS Revisioning 8/22/17, 6-8 pm, at Penny's Daycare, 23 Lake St, Tioga, with Erica G, Shelley & Lorrie. 

ERS Workgroup with Beth Simon 8/25/17, 1:00-2:30, at Bennett Family Center, 123 Bennett Family Cntr, University Park, with Elizabeth 

STAR 1 Co-hort Meetings
8/29/17, 9:30-11:30, United Way, 145 S. Hanover St, Carlisle
8/29/17, 1:30-3:30, PaTTAN, 6340 Flank Dr, Harrisburg
8/31/17, 9:30-11:30, Child Care Consultants, 29 N. Duke St, Yor k
8/31/17, 1:30-3:30, South Central CAP, 153 N Stratton St, Gettysburg   
Other Community Meetings & Events 
Ready, Set, Go Back to School   - 8/5/17, 8:00-1:30 WITF 

Birth to Five Committee 8/8/17, 10:00-11:30 at Adams County Head Start, 705 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg   

ECE Coalition Meeting 8/9/17   1:00-3:00 at BLaST Intermediate Unit 17, 33 Springbrook Dr, Canton. RSVP to Desiree.Rockwell@memorialhospital.org  

Opening of School Year Special Presentation: Nurturing the Resilient Child 8/22/17, 12:30 - 2:00 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 201 W.Louther Street, Carlisle with Marcy Witherspoon, MSW, LSW, Senior Training Specialist, Health Federation of Philadelphia  

Ready to Learn Day of Caring Event September 16th in Gettysburg 

Transition to Kindergarten Conference at PATTAN Center, Harrisburg 10/26/2017  For Cumberland, Dauphin, and Lebanon County Educators!  Learn the best transition techniques, ideas, and strategies to implement in the fall!
Looking for Information on Children’s Picture Books?

Missy Littell, Customer Experience Manager, Cuyahoga Falls Library, will be a featured guest writer on the Program Quality Assessment Team’s Blog, Let’s Talk Quality. Her article, LOLable Picture Books will be available beginning August 16 and will feature recommendations on various types of humorous picture books, including potty humor, naked humor (no worries, it is appropriate), darkish humor, surprising twists, and just plain old funny humor. This former children’s librarian shares recommendations and personal experiences while explaining that books, though providing information and meaning, can also be delightful to read. 

The CDA Council’s Renewal Amnesty Program allows anyone with a CDA credential expiration date as far back as January 1, 2007 to apply for renewal online. This amnesty opportunity provides a waiver of the CDA holder’s expiration date. It does not waive the five steps required to renew a CDA. All applications and payments must be submitted online by the Amnesty Program expiration date of December 29, 2017, with no exceptions or extensions.
ECE Summit Scholarship deadline approaching

Applications must be submitted by Friday, August 18, 2017 at 11:59 PM EDT. Applicants will be notified of their status via e-mail by Friday, August 25th. More information on the registration process will be provided at that time. 

Scholarship funding may be used to pay for Summit registration and/or overnight accommodations. Scholarships will be available for both full and partial Summit registrations or a combination of both. Scholarship recipients will stay at the Country Inn & Suites right down the street from the Penn Stater.

Scholarships will be awarded with consideration given to geography, availability of funds, and financial need.

Shared Source PA

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” –Emilie Buchwald

Support families in their role as a child’s first teacher. Start the discussion with handouts from SharedSourcePA about areas families can focus on when working with their children on language development and to also help them understand the long-term benefits of reading to children, including: 
•    teaching babies about communication,
•    introducing important concepts such as numbers, letters, colors and shapes 
•    building listening, memory and vocabulary skills. 

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