Mid-State Regional Key
A Leader In Community Services

Welcome to the Mid-State Regional Key STARS Newsletter!!
New Guidance to Help ECE Support Children, Families & Staff 

New releases from OCDEL provide guidance related to the recently released Announcements, Inclusion of All Children in Early Childhood Programs in Pennsylvania and Reduction of Expulsion and Suspension in Early Childhood Programs in Pennsylvania.  

OCDEL Inclusion and Suspension/Expulsion Announcements: Timeline provides a timeline to help early learning professionals plan how they can support families, children and staff in their program. 

Getting Started Implementing the OCDEL Inclusion Announcement provides additional guidance to early care and education programs to implement the next steps outlined in the OCDEL Announcement, Inclusion of All Children in Early Childhood Programs in Pennsylvania. It also supports the core principle of "inclusion, equity and respect for all children" of the Keystone STARS System and OCDEL programs in general. The next steps outlined in the Announcement are intended to support early care and education programs in promoting and implementing inclusive practices. Resources to support each step are also provided. 

The infographic, The Benefits of Inclusion in Early Childhood , demonstrates how all children, families and communities can benefit from the inclusion of all children. 

View these documents and get more information on the PA Key website .
The Genius of Play - Kim Alloway

Sometimes when we receive mass emails we are too quick to just glance at them and then delete them. However – this one really speaks to a practice that gets put on the back burner all too often…..PLAY! This is an excerpt from a recent NAEYC mailing – check out the link that follows:

According to a recent survey conducted by The Genius of Play , a movement that encourages families to make more time for play in their daily lives, 94 percent of educators incorporate toys and play into classroom activities to enhance learning. However, nearly half of the teachers polled said they don’t tell parents about the toys they use, or the games that they play, in class.

It’s partly because teachers think parents won’t understand the connection between play and learning the curriculum. Educators are also simply too busy to relay every aspect of the school day to parents. However, it’s important to make sure that parents understand why and how infusing play into the curriculum is crucial to their children’s success.

The Right Ratio for You - Rhea Simmons

It is 4:15 in the after-school program, and the school age children are having snack, when a flurry of parents come in pick up their kids. As the lead teacher oversees snack clean up and prepares for outdoor play, the floating teacher takes a count, and seeing there are twelve children remaining, abruptly ends the homework assistance she was providing and heads for the door. The lead teacher is now overseeing snack clean up, homework, free play and outdoor prep. Sound familiar? Read more.
Shared Source PA - “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”

This year’s theme for National Preparedness Month is a reminder about the importance of preparing for the unexpected by planning ahead. Make sure everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency with the tools and guidance on SharedSourcePA . The checklists, emergency plan templates, toolkits and tips are perfect for developing a comprehensive plan to share with staff, children and families. Start planning today!  See Emergency Preparedness Resources .
Have you heard? Research supports FLIP IT!

The Center for School-Based Mental Health Programs at Miami University recently published an evaluation of the FLIP IT strategy. The study found that child protective factors increased and parent-child relationships improved steadily across a six-month period after parents learned this simple and effective strategy for transforming challenging behavior. As a result, the researchers recommended that programs continue to both sustain and support the use of FLIP IT! Click Here to Learn More About This Study

Want to learn FLIP IT, but don't have the time to travel? Check out the FLIP IT Online Training . Also check out their flyer & other resources .
What's New with T.E.A.C.H. for 2017-2018 

  • Higher Education Partners: Arcadia, Carlow, Mansfield, Neumann Universities & many more! Check out our website for a full list of partnering colleges and universities the scholarships available at each. 
  • Scholarship Models: Director Credential (Bachelor's & Master's level ONLY) & Student Teaching Only Scholarships available! Visit PACCA's website for more information and to download an application. 
  • Reduced Tuition Contributions: PACCA has revised all scholarship models to reduce the percentage of tuition/fees that both Recipients & Sponsoring Employers pay each semester. See scholarship applications for more details. 
  • Eligibility Criteria: Staff working in Head Start and PreK Counts programs that participate in Keystone STARS are now eligible to apply for scholarships.
  • Did you miss What's New at T.E.A.C.H. Webinars for ECE Professionals & Sponsoring Employers? Access recordings of the webinars on PACCA's website.
  • PACCA has funding available to award scholarships for upcoming semesters as well as retroactively for any semesters that began after July 1, 2017. Contact a T.E.A.C.H. Counselor for more info at 717-657-9000 or teachinfo@pacca.org
Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting!   Email to RSVP  

ERS Workgroup September 28th from 9:30-11:30 at CAECTI ( new address: 777 West Harrisburg Pike, Middletown) - with Corrie

Family & Group Provider Workgroup September 29th from 6:30-8:30 pm at Panera in State College - with Elizabeth

Other Community Meetings & Events  

ECE Coalition Meeting    September 13th at 9:00 at Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce, 2859 North Susquehanna Trail, Shamokin Dam

ECE Coalition Meeting    September 13th at 1:00 at BLAST, 33 Springbrook Drive, Canton. RSVP to  Desiree.Rockwell@memorialhospital.org

Lycoming Early Learning Team Meeting   September 14th at 11:00 at STEP Head Start, 2138 Boyd St, Williamsport.  
Ready to Learn Day of Caring Event   September 16th in Gettysburg

Clinton County LICC Meeting September 27th at 9:30 at Infant Development Program 

Transition to Kindergarten Conference  October 26th at   PaTTAN in Harrisburg. For Cumberland, Dauphin, & Lebanon County Educators! Learn the best transition techniques, ideas, and strategies to implement this fall!  
Professional Development Updates   

Professional Development Highlights

Credentials & Higher Education

Save the Date!!
The York Early Learning Conference (formerly YAAEYC) will be held on Novebmer 4th at York County School of Technology. Visit our Facebook page to stay up to date on Registration deadlines & announcements.
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