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 !!
Merit & ERA Grant Documents Released!!

Providing financial supports to providers serving children who are vulnerable and at risk is one strategy implemented by OCDEL to promote continuous quality improvement. All award funds are contingent upon the availability of state funds. Note: Applications may be denied if they are not complete or the instructions have not been followed. For any questions regarding the completion and submission of the Merit or ERA Award request, please contact your Quality Coach/Specialist.

The Merit Award includes expenses relating to Equipment and Supplies/Materials, Professional Development, Accreditation Costs, Staff Benefits, and Other Expenses. It is recommended that all programs applying for and receiving a Merit Award analyze their existing technology and use these funds to develop or enhance computer and internet access as necessary.  

The ERA Request contains staff-specific awards for highly qualified owner/operators and teaching staff. 

Please read the instructions to determine your eligibility for these awards. Not all providers are eligible for all awards.

Documents can also be found online at PA Keys or Child Care Consultants.
Shared Services

Since the release of the new STARS standards, many questions have come up around defining Shared Services and the types of sources of evidence that might be accepted to meet indicator LM 3.4.13. One of the best explanations for what shared services are can be found on the Opportunities Exchange website . There is a great deal of information on this website about how to start shared services alliances, as well. This website is helpful in reflecting further on shared services and also provides guidance on how to develop a local alliance if not already available. Take a look and explore the Shared Service opportunities available! 
Inclusion Document to Aid Administrators and Coaches 

A new document, Guidelines to Support Implementation of OCDEL Announcement on Inclusion: A Resource for Administrators and Coaches , is now available on the PA Keys website. The document provides written guidance to assist Pennsylvania's early childhood programs as they continue to show progress and increase the number of children supported in inclusive settings.

The document is grounded in recommended practice, research, federal law, state law, and guidance from the Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Human Services, Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). Links to additional resources are provided throughout the document. Readers are encouraged to use the links and explore the resources to gain information on implementing high quality inclusive practices.
All Kinds of Pilgrims - Rhea Simmons

When we think of Thanksgiving, our thoughts might include people who came from England long ago for religious freedom. As the holiday approaches, it provides a great opportunity to share books about the people who came, and still come, to America in search of opportunity for themselves and their families.
These books give a historical perspective:
·      What was the First Thanksgiving Joan Holub
·      Sarah Morton’s Day/Samuel Eaton’s Day Kate Waters
·      Squanto’s Journey: the Story of the First Thanksgiving J. Bruchac

These books give a multicultural view:
·      Coming to America: the Story of Immigration Betsy Maestro
·      We Came to America Faith Ringgold
·      I’m New Here Anne Sibley O’Brien
·      Everybody Cooks Rice/Everybody Bakes Bread by Norah Dooley

These books are stories of immigrants from Eastern Europe, Central America, Asia the Middle East and the Caribbean in the 20 th and 21 st century :
·      Molly’s Pilgrim Barbara Cohen
·      Oskar and the Eight Blessings Tonya Simon 
·      All the Way to America Dan Yaccarino
·      How Many Days to America Eve Bunting
·      The Name Jar Yangsook Choi
·      Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say
·      One Green Apple Eve Bunting
·      Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation E. Danticat

In addition to meeting learning and content standards in Literacy and Social Studies, these stories meets standards for Social Emotional Development and can be a starting point for discussions and activities about diversity, and the universal themes of freedom and the pursuit of happiness. Consider adding some, or all of them-to your program’s library.
Join us for FREE Training & Resources, with continental breakfast, Italian buffet lunch, and a snack break!

Even if you are already at STAR 2, or 3 or 4, you can join us for this event.
Get Smart Newsletter - Anne Dodds
Apply NOW for T.E.A.C.H.! 

Winter hasn’t even arrived yet, but Spring 2018 semesters will begin in just about two months.  If you are interested in starting college classes for January 2018 - NOW is the time to get started! Colleges and universities will be closed for winter break in approximately 6 – 7 weeks. Be sure to contact a college advisor immediately, so you can complete the admissions process and register for classes before January.
Then visit PACCA’s website to download a T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship application. Or contact our office and speak to a Scholarship Counselor about next steps. We are here to help you get started on reaching your educational goals! You can reach our staff at (717) 657-9000 or teachinfo@pacca.org
♦♦♦ T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship Funding is still available for the Fall 2017 semester (retroactively) and the upcoming Spring/Summer 2018 semesters!  ♦♦♦
Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting!        Email to RSVP  

STARS Informational session & Panel Discussion
Discussions around STARS clarifications, resources available, grants & tiered reimbursement overview, and a Q&A with community partners (possible partners include Certification, Quality Assessors, Pre-K Counts, TA, ECMH, Mentoring, PD, & other community organizations).

  • November 8 from 11-1 at 1383 Arcadia Rd, Lancaster - with Jenn
  • November 14 from 1-3 at Lebanon YMCA - with Corrie
  • November 15 from 12:30-2:30 Online - with Jen
  • November 16 from 9:30-11:30 at United Way of York - with Carrie
  • November 16 from 1-3 at CAECTI - with Alyssa & Corrie
Other Community Meetings & Events  

ECE Coalition Meeting
November 8th at 1 at BLaST IU in Canton

Lycoming Early Learning Team
November 9 at 11 Location TBD

PennSACCA Conference     
November 10 & 11 in Harrisburg  

Family Engagement Conference     
November 14 in Harrisburg  
Job Openings

Are you looking to make a lasting impact on young children? Zwingli Christian School is currently looking for an experienced individual to lead its church based center as school director. Individuals must meet qualifications set forth by the Department of Human Services and Keystone STARS to be considered. Zwingli Christian School is a current STAR 2 center serving children ages six weeks through sixth grade through preschool and educational childcare programs. Interested individuals should submit a cover letter and resume to zcsdirector@zwingliucc.org no later than November 17th.

Hiring in mid-December for a teacher assistant for the 3 year old class. Currently the hours are 7:30-12:30 M/W, 8:15-1 T/Th, 7:30-9 F. High School diploma, clearances, and two letters of reference are needed and can be sent to:
Mt Nittany UMC Preschool
1500 E Branch Rd
State College, PA 16801
Professional Development Updates    
Register on the  PD Registry 

Social and Emotional Development for Preschoolers
November 17 at 3

All flyers may be printed and shared by clicking on them.
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