Mid-State Regional Key
A Leader In Community Services

Welcome to the Mid-State Regional Key STARS Newsletter!!
Check out our MSRK Contact List & Facebook Page !!
Training & PD Registry Reminders
If you are still in need of taking Professional Development to meet the STARS Standards please use your time wisely over the next 3 months. At the end of March, PD will no longer be available this fiscal year, unless you chose to take it online. (better kid care, webinars, etc.) 

Also, it is recommended that all staff print out their Professional Development plans and Transcripts from the PD Registry now. This will ensure that you have all of your records during the website transition to the new and improved PD Registry.

Two upcoming opportunities to assist in meeting STARS Standards:
Social Emotional Components of Creating Responsive Environments
December 14 th 6-9pm HACC Lancaster

Using Ages and Stages Questionnaires® as a Screening Tool
December 18 th 6-9pm HACC Lancaster 
Technical Assistance

Technical Assistance is used to enhance your programs for various reasons, but this too will be closing out earlier this fiscal year. If you would like to use TA for ERS or CLASS assessment preparation, please submit a request and get this process started before March. As of March 30th, we will not be accepting any new TA requests. 

Artwork Contest Winners Announced

Congratulations to YWCA of Gettysburg Commerce Center and Children in Bloom (New Oxford)!! These providers submitted artwork to decorate the hallways of our office, and received the most Likes/Comments on our Facebook page. They will be receiving a basket full of art supplies to use with their children.
Visit Child Care Consultant's Facebook page to view the artwork submitted, and to stay up to date on all our current happenings!
'Tis the Season

‘Tis the season for not only the holidays, but also for illness! We are seeing a spike in illnesses and this article from ABC news is a great resource for both teachers AND family members. Remember how important it is to sanitize and disinfect the correct way, and now it is more important than ever. Don’t forget to disinfect other surfaces like door handles and touch screens. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” or in other words - a little precaution before a crisis occurs is preferable to a lot of fixing up afterward.
A Toast to Your Host - School Age

The holiday season is a great time to reach out to your host contacts to show your appreciation. Some ideas for engaging your hosts include:

·         Inviting the school staff or church leadership and congregation to a special snack, presentation or holiday craft activity.
·         Play after-school caroling (if at a school site).
·         Make and deliver Christmas cards to the host site staff.
·         Decorate areas of the school or church (with permission).
·         Provide child care or other assistance during the hosts’ planned holiday event.

Planning these types of interactions with your host not only increase your visibility, but may encourage your host to become more understanding of, familiar with and involved in your program. Building relationships with your hosts opens up communication and garners additional support for your program. Here are some additional resources:

Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Teacher Awards

The Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation is accepting applications for their Child Care Teacher Awards. Fifty teachers win each year. Each award recipient receives $500 for the teacher's personal use and up to $500 to implement the project.
TLLCCF created the Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children's TYLENOL® National Child Care Teacher Awards to acknowledge the critical role of child care teachers in providing quality early care and education. Child care teachers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and on U.S. Military bases and installations around the world are invited to apply. 
The full application will be available on TLLCCF.org .
Applications are due December 15, 2017.
Seeking Nominations for 2018 VOICE for Children Award

Because this is such a busy time of the year, we have agreed to grant a deadline extension. All submissions must reach Jen DeBell by
Friday, December 15, 2017.

The VOICE for Children Award is the only statewide award in Pennsylvania recognizing the grassroots leaders whose work impacts the quality of care for young children in diverse settings. Now in its fourth year, the VOICE Award celebrates not only individual award recipients, but the early childhood profession. 
Do you know an outstanding early childhood professional who is raising their voice to make a difference in the lives of young children and families through advocacy? PennAEYC is asking you to nominate qualified individuals to be recognized for their contributions. The winner will be honored at the VOICE for Children Award Reception and Dinner in the spring of 2018 in Harrisburg, PA!
DEADLINE EXTENDED! Nominations must be submitted no later than December 15, 2017.
OCDEL Program Self-Assessment Checklist to Support Certification

Registration for the one-hour webinar on December 14, 2017 introducing the new OCDEL Program Self-Assessment Checklists has reached capacity. Thank you to all who have registered.

If you didn't get to register for the webinar, don't worry!

These new user-friendly tools were designed to assist Child Care Center, Family, and Group Child Care Home providers in performing periodic reviews of their facility operations to achieve compliance with OCDEL certification regulations. When utilized regularly, these checklists can help to identify program strengths and gaps in the understanding of and compliance with OCDEL regulations.   
Growing Your Teachers (and Parents) through T.E.A.C.H.

T.E.A.C.H. is a critical resource to assist the current Early Childhood Education workforce reach professional and educational goals without incurring debt, and, thereby, also a support for quality improvement through the Keystone STARS system. T.E.A.C.H. requires multiple commitments from providers and directors need to understand the value of and strategies for complying with these financial and human resource requirements. This webinar will present strategies for building your center's teaching staff, as well as making your agency's staff much more diverse using T.E.A.C.H. Discussion includes success stories impacting staff and families. 
Learn more about: 
  • Promoting degree attainment that supports individual and program needs 
  • Employing T.E.A.C.H. as a strategy for staff hiring, developing, motivating, retaining, and appropriate separating 
  • Planning effective ways to incorporate T.E.A.C.H. funding as part of a staff development plan 
Presenter: Mary Graham, Executive Director, Children’s Village 
Facilitator: Laurie Litz, T.E.A.C.H. Director, PACCA 
December 14th from 1-2:30 - Register Here
January 9: NFSN Farm to ECE Quarterly Webinar: Placing Equity at the Center of Farm to Early Care and Education 

At the intersection of multiple sectors, including policy, education, food systems and social justice, farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) can be a platform for advancing racial and social equity. Access to farm to ECE opportunities may be one approach to addressing health and education inequities by increasing access to healthy, local foods and high-quality education opportunities for children and communities while promoting ECE policies that address inequity. Farm to ECE can, at the same time, address inequities in the food system by changing ECE purchasing practices and policies. Join the National Farm to School Network, the Policy Equity Group, the Food Trust, and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems to learn how these organizations are both evaluating internal structures and practices to prioritize equity and working towards programs and policies that place equity at the center of farm to ECE initiatives. Register here .
Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting!

STARS Informational & Grant Writing Session
December 12th from 1-3 at  Lebanon YMCA Train Station

Grant Workgroup
December 13th from 12:30-2 at Panera Bread in Lewisburg

STARS Support Workgroup
December 20th from 12:30-2 at Farm and Home Center - Lancaster

Disinfecting & Sanitation
December 21st from 6-8 at James V. Brown Library - Williamsport
Other Community Meetings & Events

Tioga ECE Coalition Meeting
December 13th at 1 at   BLaST IU Canton

ECE Coalition Meeting

Adams County Directors Roundtable
January 4th at 1 at The Mill-Sozzaro's - New Oxford

ELIC Meeting

Lycoming Early Learning Team Meeting
January 18th at 11 at East Lycoming School District
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