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 !!
Health & Safety TA

ERS assessments coming up and the need to request H&S TA? 
Are you ready? Get your requests in while there’s time to make improvements. It's as easy as filling out this form. For more information, you can also contact Anne, our Health & Safety specialist.   
The Olympic Spirit in Afterschool

The 2018 Winter Olympics are February 9-25 th. The Olympics provide endless possibilities for activities plans in your afterschool program. Just about every interest areas and learning standard can be incorporated into an Olympic theme. There are many art and gross motor activities on Pinterest. For other subject areas, here are some ideas to get you started:
·         Math: Chart the Olympic medal count (data analysis) decimals (speeds, scores)
·         Dramatic Play: Take it outside or to a large space. Make cardboard sleds, skis, bobsleds, and snowboards. Add skating skirts, goggles, etc. to the dress up area
·         Music: Each day, pick a name of a participating country and listen to its national anthem. You can hear the national anthem of every country on its Wikipedia page. Tally the favorites (more math!)
·         Social Studies: South Korea, 5 continents represented by the Olympic rings, US Olympic Team.
·         Social Emotional Development-perseverance, grit, sportsmanship, cooperation, peace

Let the games begin!
How to Close your STARS Grant

See below for the documentation explaining what you will need to do to close your STARS Grants. If you received both grants this year, you will need to do each process separately. There is also a receipt chart attached for those of you that received Merit Awards. 

PLEASE READ the directions attached and make sure we have your grant closure by the date listed on your grant agreement packet (45 days after you receive your check).

If you do not think you have the Final Approved grant documents, please reach out to your Quality Coach, and they will send them to you. These are the documents you must use for your grant closure.

Please see contact your Quality Coach with any questions, or if you have unspent funds or wish to adjust your request.

Certification Self-Assessment Checklists

Have you checked out the new self-assessment checklists from DHS? These were created to assist providers in preparing for their Certification visits. You can find the checklist and recorded webinars by visiting the DHS Website or the PA Keys webiste.
Developing Suspension and Expulsion Policies

It is essential that all young children have the opportunity to both access and remain in a quality early learning program. In July 2017, Pennsylvania early learning programs were informed of the need to develop program specific policies to prevent, and support the reduction of the suspension and expulsion of young children from their programs. Documents have recently been created by OCDEL to assist you with writing & implementing these policies.

Make your List, Check it Twice

A new Health and Safety checklist is available on Shared Source that can be used to meet indicator LM 2.4 in the new STARS standards. All STAR 2s, 3s, and 4s must meet this indicator. If you are not part of Shared Source, you can sign up for free. There are great resources on this site so we highly recommend signing up! Please see below for more information. 

Hand washing is your single best defense against the spread of germs. Shared Source PA brings you READY TO PRINT posters on the proper way to wash your hands! These posters now available and English AND Spanish are available to you on Shared Source PA.org. Simply go to SharedSourcepa.org and log in then go to Hand washing Posters download, print and post! 
Save the Date: April 13, 2018

Mark your calendars for Friday, April 13, 2018 and book your hotel today at the group discounted rate for the 2018 VOICE for Children celebration.

Book your hotel by phone by calling 855-729-3108. Ask for the room block for the PA Association for the Education of Young Children at the Hershey Lodge, April 13-14, 2018. Or, book your hotel online here , a link created specifically for the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children. 

Event registration will open soon, watch your email for event registration information soon!
Join us for a STARS Networking Meeting!

STARS & Certification Networking
February 16th at 10 at  Christ Community Church in State College
Tioga County Meeting will be rescheduled - Stay Tuned!

STARS Support
January 31st at 9:30 at   United Way of York
Other Community Meetings & Events

Centre County LICC Meeting
February 7th at 9 at  CIU in State College

Tioga ECE Coalition Meeting
February 14th at 1 at  BLaST IU in Canton

Clinton County LICC Meeting
February 28th at 9:30 at Infant Development Center
Professional Development Updates    
Register on the  PD Registry 

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