Family Corner

What is Quality Early Care and Education?

When we think of quality early care and education there are several things that come to mind. Each of these things work together to form a quality child care program.

  • Staff Education: early childhood teachers have the training and knowledge to work with young children.
  • Learning Environment: the program has a variety of materials and activities for each age level that makes it possible for children to learn something new every day!
  • Leadership and Management: a quality program has to have sound business practices to ensure the children’s safety and early learning.
  • Family and Community Partnerships: Parents and community members are encouraged to be a part of the children’s learning process. Parents are engaged and treated like partners in their child’s growth and development.

So, you may be asking yourself, why is quality early care and education important?

Did you know that 90% of our brain develops before we reach kindergarten? Attending a quality child care program is important to children because what children experience before age five can affect the way their brains develop. Children who attend quality early care and education programs go to kindergarten ready to learn and are better prepared for school. They also develop skills early on that will help them throughout all areas of their life.

Keystone STARS is a statewide initiative to improve, support, and recognize the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvania. Keystone STARS is supported through a set of early learning standards, professional development training, technical assistance, resources and financial awards. Programs who are involved in Keystone STARS are provided with a number of resources free of charge to assist them in enhancing the quality of their program. Keystone STAR sites are recognized in the community as providing quality early care and education.

If you have a child or know of a child in an early learning program take notice to whether the program is in Keystone STARS and their STAR Level. If they are not in STARS encourage them to be a part of the program or to move up in STARS. Being a part of Keystone STARS will benefit both the program and the children and families in the program.

For more information on Keystone STARS visit

Check out the Early Learning GPS!!

You want the best for your child, but may not know where to start. The Early Learning GPS can help!!

Answer up to 10 questions for simple tips and links to reliable resources to help your child learn and grow! Through your experience with the Early Learning GPS find out more about developmental milestones – what kids can typically do at certain ages – and how you can help your child meet milestones. You can also find tips on choosing a quality caregiver or daycare/child care/early learning program like finding out what questions to ask when you visit.

Save your favorite tips to your child’s map and follow your child’s milestones, save activities based on PA’s Early Learning Standards, and compare child care programs.

Early Learning GPS
Click here to get started!