Keystone Stars


Welcome to the Mid-State Regional Key web site!

The Pennsylvania Keys to Quality consists of a statewide PA Key and five Regional Keys and is a system of supports for Keystone STARS and other programs including:
professional development opportunities for early childhood and school-age providers
• independent Environmental Rating Scale (ERS) assessments for early learning and school-age programs
• community engagement and outreach

The PA Keys to Quality programs include:

Professional development initiatives
• Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
• Mind in the Making
• Local Education and Resource Network (LEARN)
• Pre-K Counts Public Private Partnership

Head Start State Collaboration Office
• School Age Child Care Projects
• Better Kid Care
• Early Childhood Education Linkage System (ECELS)


STARS News 8-18-17

Get Smart Contest

STARS News 8-11-17

Managing Lice in Child Care

STARS News 8-4-17

STARS News 7-28-17

STARS News 7-21-17

Get Smart Competition for Young Artists and Writers

STARS News 7-13-17

STARS News 6-15-17

STARS News 6-8-17

STARS News 6-2-17

STARS News 5-26-17

STARS News 5-17-17

STARS News 5-5-17

STARS News 4-28-17

STARS News 4-21-17

Health & Safety Awareness & Spring Cleaning!! Newsletter

STARS News 4-7-17

Supervision Awareness Month 4-5-17

STARS News 3-31-17

STARS News 3-24-17

STARS News 3-17-17

STARS News 3-13-17

STARS News 3-7-17

STARS News 2-24-17

STARS News 2-10-17

STARS News 2-3-17

STARS News 1-27-17

STARS News 1-20-17

STARS News 1-13-17

STARS News 1-6-17

Child Care Health Advocate Course 12/30/16

STARS News 12-22-16

STARS News 12-16-16

STARS News 12-9-16

STARS News 10-31-16

STARS News 10-25-16


Click here to see the ECERS-3 Transition Letter to Keystone STARS Participants

Click here to see the ECERS-3 and SACERS-U Transition Plan for Keystone STARS Programs

Daniel Finds a Poem

Save the Date – Mid-State Regional Key to Host PA One Book Event March 23rd at PaTTAN from 8:00am-12:15pm. The Mid-State Regional Key will be hosting a professional development event for our One Book on March 23rd from 8:00-12:15pm as part of a Month/Week of the Young Child celebration. The event will be held at PaTTAN in Harrisburg. The event will start off with a 2 hr training titled “More than ABC's: Engaging Children in Early Language and Literacy Experiences”. That will then be followed by another 2 hr literacy training TBA. 4 PQAS hours and act 48 will be available.You will be able to register for the event on the PD Registry once it has been entered. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Stephanie Spitz at or 717-771-8584.

Register to be a PA One Book Guest Reader or Host Site

Registration through March 8

Help support early literacy during April through Pennsylvania's One Book Every Young Child!  Individuals are invited to be a PA One Book reader during the month of April at an early learning program in your community. Registration is also open for early learning programs to host a guest reader during April. The PA One Book, Every Young Child is Pennsylvania's collaborative project using the vehicle of "One Book, One State" program to highlight the importance of early literacy development. 

This year's selection, Daniel Finds a Poem, written and illustrated by Micha Archer, is a story about a boy who goes on an adventure through a park trying to find answers to his question, "What is poetry?" 

Reading events will take place during April. Guest readers are provided with a copy of the book and can select a time and date during April that works best with their schedule.

Register to be a guest reader by completing the Guest Reader Online Registration.

Register to be a host site by completing the Host Site Online Registration.



Environment Rating Scale (ERS) assessments are conducted for STAR 3 and STAR 4 (including STAR 4A) facilities every two years. Over time, participating facilities may undergo programmatic changes which can affect daily classroom practices and the overall quality of care experienced by the children. As a result, when these changes occur in between the biennial ERS visits, it is sometimes necessary for the PA Key Assessment Team to conduct additional ERS visits to support the Regional Key in assuring that the changes have not had a negative effect on the facility’s ability to maintain STARS Performance Standards associated with classroom environmental quality.


Below is a listing of possible situations which may trigger the need for additional Environment Rating Scale (ERS) visits at a facility outside of the two-year cycle established within Keystone STARS.


  • Provisional Certificate
  • Director Turnover
  • Staff Turnover
  • New Age Group Added
  • New Location
  • Change in Ownership
  • Change of Physical Location
  • Change of Facility Type


Should any of the above situations occur at your facility, please notify your STARS Specialist to discuss whether or not a new ERS assessment is needed.


The Spring version of Compass, a quarterly guide to Keystone STARS, published by the Mid-State Regional Key, is now available online.

Read Compass Now


The Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality, sponsored by the Department of Human Services Office of Child Development and Early Learning, is a quality improvement program in which all early learning programs and practitioners are encouraged and supported to improve child outcomes.