Mid-State Regional Key
A Leader In Community Services

Welcome to the Mid-State Regional Key STARS Newsletter!!
Are you interested in becoming a Mentor?

All those interested in being Mentors or finding out what Mentoring is all about are invited to attend one of our upcoming Mentor meetings. These are mandatory if you wish to be a mentor this year, as you'll learn more about the new standards and how to support other programs in meeting those standards. Stipends are available to compensate mentors for their time in working with mentees.

September 16 th at The Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey
  4650 Lindle Rd., Harrisburg                             
September 23 rd at the Best Western Plus Country Cupboard Inn –
   7701 W. Branch Highway, Lewsiburg

Extreme STREAM Fair

Are you an early childhood education program (center or home) looking for a way to advertise/market your wonderful program to local families? Host a table at CCC's upcoming Extreme STREAM Fair on October 7th in York.

This event is open to the public and focused on educating children ages birth-kindergarten and their families in the areas of Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art and Math.

This event is made possible by a grant from the  Rotary Club of York .
Professional Development Clarification

As you may have noticed, the new STARS Standards do not state that professional development opportunities need to be provided by PQAS Certified trainers. Keystone STARS recognizes that there are many High Quality Professional Development opportunities that may be utilized to meet professional educational needs. An instructor without a PQAS certificate would be approved to provide training IF they have the specific skill or expertise in that area. For example, NAEYC or Zero to Three conference presenters, a Pediatrician, a Nutrition Specialist, etc. Keep in mind that Keystone STARS is a Quality program and holds the expectation that any PD event should lead to credit based coursework or be presented by an expert in that field. It does not mean that a Director may do all of the training for their staff without having that background or expertise or that anyone can present a training and meet the STARS requirements. PQAS certification ensures that instructors have a background in the topic areas they present and PQAS Certification will still exist. We encourage anyone with a PQAS Certification to maintain their certification and encourage all providers to seek professional development events presented by experts in that field. 
Infant Toddler Transitions - Kimberly Alloway

Many programs are starting the process or will be transitioning their children to new classrooms with the start of the new school year. It can be a tough time for everyone involved. Think of how hard change can be for you as an adult. That might give you some idea of how it can affect infants and toddlers. Of course, we are all different. One person might love change and find it exciting, whereas another dreads the same upcoming change! Each child in your program is an individual and will experience transitions in their own way. Please check out the attached resources and share with parents and teachers!
Finding Quality Staff in SACC Part 1 - Rhea Simmons

Recruiting and hiring quality staff is often a struggle for most child care directors. School Age Care Providers are particularly challenged to interview and hire school age staff. Often they must do this as they also are enrolling new children and filling the staffing gap between summer staff who return to college and the end of full day summer programs.
If you are looking for the perfect candidate, chances are you won’t find him or her. Great staff are developed and it starts before they are hired. Ideally you want staff will be a good fit in terms of your program’s identity and mission and who will be with you for the long term. But first and foremost the candidate must be willing and available to work. This is where a Pre-Interview can be helpful.
A Pre-interview is the initial contact you have with potential qualified applicants. During the Pre-Interview, share brief introductory information about your program’s identity and demographics. Give precise information about the program’s required hours, pay rate/range and find out if the applicant would be comfortable with them. Also determine if the applicant has a reliable source of transportation. It is important to discuss this information early, so that should you proceed to the interview you know that you have candidates that are likely to accept the position.
By utilizing the pre-interview,  you help yourself make the hiring process be as efficient as possible. 

There is still time to enroll! The Pennsylvania School-Age Child Care Alliance ( PENN SACCA) is looking for programs to join a pilot ending in October. We will use blended learning to develop and recognizes STEM teaching skills with the goal of empowering afterschool program staff to deliver more and better STEM-related learning opportunities. Each staff will earn up to 5.5 PQAS hours and upon successful completion a STEM Micro-Badge. Badges will be stackable and can lead to a STEM Credential.
Rising STARS Tuition Assistance & Vouchers

Questions regarding Tuition Assistance or CDA Vouchers should be directed to pakeyvoucherprogram@pakeys.org. The Zen Desk for the PA Key is no longer available.
What’s New with T.E.A.C.H. for FY 2017 – 2018?

PACCA staff have been extremely busy over the last year relaunching the T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship Program, thanks to funding provided by the PA Department of Human Services (DHS) and Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL.) During this time we have received a great deal of feedback from the field regarding scholarship models, the need for access to more degrees/credentials and other challenges that ECE programs and teachers face. As a result PACCA has been working to provide more supports and opportunities for the field – check out the information below to see what’s new with T.E.A.C.H. for the 17-18 fiscal year.
NEW 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.
NEW Scholarship Models! Director Credential (Bachelor’s & Master’s level ONLY) & Student Teaching Only Scholarships available! Visit our website for more information and to download an application. 
NEW 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.
NEW 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 our “What’s New at T.E.A.C.H.” Webinars for ECE Professionals & Sponsoring Employers ? No worries – you can access recordings of those webinars on PACCA’s website anytime at.
REMEMBER! PACCA has funding available to award scholarships for upcoming semesters as well as retroactively for any semesters that began after July 1, 2017. Questions or need more information? Contact a T.E.A.C.H. Counselor at (717) 657-9000 or teachinfo@pacca.org
Early Bird Registration for ECE Summit Closes August 31st
Register today and book your room for this year’s Early Childhood Summit . We are currently reviewing workshop proposals to fill the over 200 workshop sessions for this year’s Summit. Visit the Summit website for information on conference and hotel registration.
Materials to Serve Spanish Speaking Families
It's estimated that 10% of births in Pennsylvania are to Hispanic women in which Spanish may be the primary language spoken at home. PA's Promise for Children can help early learning partners reach Spanish speaking families by offering several early learning materials in both English and Spanish. Check out these resources
  • Be Your Child's Champion
  • Five Promises to Make to Your Kindergartner for School Success (available to print only)
  • Kindergarten Here I Come Activity Guide
  • Kindergarten Here I Am Activity Guide
  • Learning is Everywhere Calendar
  • Recipes for Readiness
  • Top 6 Ways to Get Your Child Ready for Kindergarten (available to print only)
All materials are available to print from the PA's Promise for Children website, and unless specified above, can be ordered here Although there is no cost to order the materials, there is a shipping fee.
Updated NAEYC Resources  

For NAEYC members, new resources have been added to their online store. A book has been added about Inclusion, which would help support you in meeting the new STARS standards regarding Inclusion & Expulsion.
Eclipse 2017

On August 21, 2017, all of North America and parts of South America will experience a partial solar eclipse, and a total solar eclipse will occur along a narrow path of totality extending coast-to-coast across the United States. Watch this video for an overview of what to expect. Also see these two written resources:

Unless you are wearing special eclipse glasses, do not look directly at the Sun during the partial phases of the eclipse. It is still unsafe even when the Sun is more than 99% covered by the Moon. The only time it is safe to look toward the Sun without eclipse glasses is when it is covered completely during totality for those on the path of totality. 

Young child warning:  Young children ordinarily won’t stare at the Sun because it hurts too much. However, as sunlight dims during a partial eclipse, it will not hurt as much as normal. As a result, you must closely monitor children to make sure they do not risk damaging their eyes by staring at the Sun during the partial phases of the eclipse.
Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting!        Email to RSVP 

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   

Technology & Electronic Forms  8/31/17, 9:30-11, at Panera in Lewisburg, with Michaelle 

Other Community Meetings & Events  

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

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!   
Professional Development Updates   
 Register on the   PD Registry 

Training Highlights

Training Calendars 

Online Training Opportunities
Job Openings

Mechanicsburg Learning Center is looking for after school help. If you interested or need more information, please contact Charise Kauffman at mlcckauffman@aol.com

Carlisle Family YMCA is looking for a SACC Group Supervisor, part-time center floaters, and full-time early childhood teachers. If you need more information, please contact Brittany Nissley, Child Care Director at bnissley@carlislefamilyymca.org or 717-243-2525 ext 2020.
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