Pennsylvania Regional Key Structure Announcement
In the spirit of continuous quality improvement, it’s important that OCDEL periodically re-evaluate the current structure and make adjustments to best meet the needs of early learning providers across the state. As a result of this program monitoring, OCDEL determined that a restructuring of the Regional Key regions was needed.
Effective July 1, 2013, the Regional Key structure will move from six to five Regional Keys.
OCDEL will work with each Regional Key to ensure as smooth a transition as possible and little to no gap in services to providers.
Providers from the transitioning counties may attend one of three “town hall” meetings in Cambria, Lycoming and Northumberland counties to ask questions. They will be held between May 13-17; exact dates and locations will be made available shortly. Additional opportunities will be available to providers to participate on an OCDEL conference call if they are unable to attend one of the town hall sessions.
Providers from the transitioning counties will continue to work with their current STARS specialist through June 30, 2013 and will be contacted by their new specialist between now and July 1. Providers and partners in Bradford, Columbia, Lycoming, Sullivan, and Tioga Counties who have questions regarding their transition to the Northeast Regional Key are encouraged to contact our Transition Line at 800-528-7222, extension 2320 and leave a detailed message.
For more information, visit the PA Keys website http://www.pakeys.org/pages/get.aspxpage=Contact.
Community Services for Children serves as the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Key. Regional Keys coordinate and administer the Keystone STARS program, which is intended to improve the quality of early learning and school-age care and education. By meeting standards of practice and professionalism set by PA OCDEL, child care facilities move through designations to the highest known as a STAR 4 facility. For more information, you can visit http://www.pakeys.org.
CSC’s Regional Key is responsible for 13 counties. They include Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming. STARS Managers coordinate training and technical assistance for early child professionals and the businesses they operate in these counties.
A variety of resources are available, including:
- Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation offers professional development and technical assistance to link and bridge systems and service options on behalf of a child, family and program.
- Keystone STARS is a state-wide initiative to improve, support and recognize the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning and school-age care and education in Pennsylvania. By meeting standards of practice and professionalism child care facilities move through designations to the highest level known as a STAR 4 facility. Community Engagement groups that work within the region to develop and implement a community outreach plan to educate the community about early learning issues and programs. CEG’s also facilitate linkages between school districts and early learning practitioners, create a report card to the community, and leverage resources and support in the community.
- Low cost professional development opportunities designed to help early learning and school-age education professionals move upward through a career lattice. The NE Key offers workshops, symposiums, conferences and also partners with institutes of higher education to fund credential and credit-bearing courses.
- Free onsite technical assistance offered to Keystone STARS facilities to assist in enhancing quality and moving to the next STAR level.
- STARS grants and awards to assist regulated programs enhance the quality of children’s programs.
- The School-Age Child Care Project is one of six regional projects statewide designed to assist school-age facilities and practitioners with supports and resources geared toward school-age children.
- The Northeast Regional Key support Line is where practitioners can call and speak with a Technical Assistance Manager.
- A weekly email, called The Key Connection, highlighting Regional Key and partner updates and new, upcoming professional development, opportunities, resource information and announcements.
- Technical Assistance Papers (TAP’s) with information on a variety of subjects to assist child care practitioners.