HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Pennsylvania is revising its early child care and education programs to make it easier for providers to participate and earn quality ratings.
State leaders hope the changes will allow more Pennsylvania families the opportunity to have access to high-quality services.
Keystone STARS promotes quality improvement among child care and other early childhood education programs through quality standards and targeted supports. Programs currently earn a STAR 1 through STAR 4 rating, with STAR 4 being the highest quality designation, by meeting standards for staff education and professional development, the early learning environment, family engagement practices, and business management.
The new STARS Performance Standards focus on practices that impact quality services for children and families. The improvements to the program include:
•All licensed child care providers with a full certificate of compliance will be at least a STAR 1 facility
•Approximately 50 percent fewer quality indicators, meaning less paperwork for providers
•Performance standards that are achievable and meaningful to programs; and
•Built-in flexibility with choice for providers
If providers want additional reimbursement, they must achieve up to a STAR 4 status, which requires upgrades like higher education for teachers and healthier environment for kids.
Changes to the Keystone STARS program will go into effect August 1, 2017.
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