Mid-State Regional Key
A Leader In Community Services

Welcome to the Mid-State Regional Key STARS Newsletter!!
Now is the Time to Complete the New Health & Safety Training Requirements!

Free online training is available now for nine of 10 required topics.
One new requirement of the federal Child Care Development Block Grant is for all child care directors and staff to complete training on 10 health and safety topics by September 30, 2017 . Please see OCDEL's Announcement for more information. In order to meet the new requirements :
  • Take a free, six-hour "Health & Safety Basics: Requirements for Certification" course online through Better Kid Care or in person through the Regional Key, or provide transcript of courses already taken that meet the requirements.
  • Must take face-to-face Pediatric First Aid and CPR training.
Child care certification representatives are checking professional development records for these topics as part of inspections and new providers must complete pre-service training on the 10 topics before submitting an application.
Visit the PA Key website  or contact your Regional OCDEL Certification Office for more details.
Rising STARS Grants Now Available for Eligible Providers

All active Keystone STAR 1 child care certified early care providers who are actively working on a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) plan that includes moving up to a STAR 2 in a reasonable amount of time. Also eligible are active STAR 2 providers who received the Rising STARS Support Grant and successfully moved from STAR 1 to STAR 2 as well as STAR 2 providers who have received the maximum amount of Merit Awards (five) but who now are positioned to move to a STAR 3 or 4. Finally, SACC only certified providers WILL also be included as an eligible program. To be eligible, providers may not receive more than two previous support grants (including previous Rising STARS Support Grants) unless they successfully moved from STAR 1 to STAR 2 using the Rising STARS Support Grant. Eligibility exclusions include STARS Head Start, PA Pre-K Counts, Private Academic Schools (PDE licensed preschool) and School District Pre-K.

Family child care programs may apply for up to $2,000 and centers and group child care programs may apply for up to $5,000. 

WHEN IS MY APPLICATION DUE?  All Rising STARS Support Grant Applications must be postmarked no later than  Thursday, October 5, 2017  for eligibility and consideration.

Family Conferences - Kim Alloway

This is a common time of year to do Family Conferences. Family Conferences are also a great way to share timely information with a child’s parent/caregivers about trends and topics that apply to their child. Zero to Three has tons of resources, but this one on Screen Time really caught my eye. There are videos and handouts that you can use to start the discussion with caregivers about reducing a young child’s screen time. And while we are talking about it, have you thought about having a “Phone Free Center”? I hear so many stories about parents coming in and being on the phone when they are picking their child up from childcare, that it breaks my heart. Should we be strongly encouraging parents to leave their devices in the car or bag so that they can greet their little one with their full attention? I think so. Just some food for thought! 
A SACC full of PD Opportunities! - Rhea Simmons

School is in session for school age children and school age staff. There are many professional development options specifically designed with School Age programs in mind. Many are offered exclusively at this time of year, so now is the time to take advantage of them. For each opportunity described below, TA support is available to help you reach your professional development goals.
  • After School Quality (ASQ) takes a team approach to program continuous quality improvement. Through this process you will take a close look at your school age program and as a team determine the strengths, challenges and areas of focus to make deep and lasting quality improvements to your program. Your SACC TA will be with you every step of the way to support you in creating a truly meaningful CQI plan, and can be a pathway for School Age programs to higher STAR levels. To be considered for ASQ, complete the application.
  • SAPC classes are forming now for those school age professionals looking to earn a SACC credential. One class requires one Saturday per month at HACC in Lancaster, the other is completely online. Classes begin on September 16th and October 3rd respectively. TA support is available to help candidates complete the process. Application for online course.
  • STEM Badging is a great way for staff to learn more about STEM and feel comfortable presenting STEM activities to their school age groups. The deadline for enrolling is September 18th. TA is available to provide instruction for programs where the director is not a STEM certified instructor.
  • Registration is open for Mid State Regional Key Fall Mini-conferences. These conferences are a great way to earn professional development credit, and the courses are designed to meet the needs of SACC providers. The conferences are being held in Harrisburg and Lewisburg.
Be on the Lookout for Upcoming Kickoff Meetings

As soon as we receive all the grant paperwork and guidelines for 2017-18, we will be scheduling Kick Off meetings in your area. At these meetings, you will have an opportunity to meet representatives from your Regional Key, including STARS coaches, STARS TA, Program Quality Assessors, Certification representatives, and PD organizations. If you have any specific questions or topics you would like to see covered, please let us know.
Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting!        Email to RSVP  

Program Observation Instruments Overview September 27th from 6-8 at Penny's Daycare, 23 Lake St. in Tioga - with Erica and Patty Carroll

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 28th from 6:30-8:30 pm at Panera in State College -  with Elizabeth

ERS Workgroup September 28th from 6:30-8:00 at Mexitaly, 2440 East Market Street in York - with Jen

Other Community Meetings & Events  

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    Register on the   PD Registry 

Professional Development Highlights

Credentials & Higher Education
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