Mid-State Regional Key
A Leader In Community Services
Dear Early Care and Education Partner,

We are bringing you an extra addition to our weekly newsletter with relevant or timely information. This information is intended for anyone currently at the STAR 3 or STAR 4 status, or who will be working on movement this year.
The new Keystone STARS Performance Standards were released on July 1, 2017. The new Standards focus on a whole child approach to education and seek to build positive relationships among children, families and programs.

As of December 1, 2017 all programs requesting assessments for movement to a higher STAR Designation, OR those due for a monitoring visit to maintain their current STAR Designation, will receive the following:
  • Assessment visits equal to 1/3 of the total groups of children enrolled in the program.
  • At least one assessment for each age group enrolled in the program.

The Program Quality Assessment Team’s process for scheduling your observation visits will continue to work the way it has in previous years. You will be contacted by a Program Quality Assessor to schedule your observation window. You will then indicate your Program Observation Instrument selection (ERS or CLASS). The PQA team will collect information about
your program at that time. Please see the Monitoring POI Scheduling Tip Sheet on the PA Keys website for additional details about the Program Observation scheduling process. Program Observation Visit Scheduling

Beginning January 1, 2018, the Program Quality Assessment Team from the PA Key will begin visiting programs across the state. As a reminder, the 2017-2018 Fiscal Year is a Hold Harmless year. Your program will NOT lose your current STAR level if you do not score well in either your Program Quality Assessment or with the new Keystone STARS Standards. OCDEL encourages you to experiment with the new standards, as well as, with the newly-approved Assessment tools, CLASS and ECERS-3. This year is the perfect time for you to experiment with the new standards and/or assessment tools and determine which tool best meets your program needs.

OCDEL and our early childhood partners, recognize this is a period of transition and change. We are working diligently to help you become familiar with the STARS Standards. We encourage you to review the new STARS Performance Standards if you have not done so at Keystone STARS Performance Standards .

OCDEL is pleased you have chosen continual quality improvement for your program. If you have any questions, please contact your Quality Coach at your Regional Key.

Rebecca C. Mercatoris
Director, Bureau of Early Learning Services
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