Keystone STARS Funding Supports Early Childhood Facility

Published 07.20.2016

School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications News

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Robert & Maureen Dunham Children’s Learning Center received a Keystone STARS Merit Award and a Keystone STARS Education and Retention Award totaling $37,452 for 2015-16.

Funds from the grants are used for equipment and supplies, professional development for Children’s Learning Center staff, and the center’s accreditation costs.

The center used grant funds to purchase teaching materials and furnishings, including a sensory table, dramatic play props, and equipment to help develop motor skills, as well as materials for cognition, social studies, math, science, literacy, nutrition and music.

Grant-funded activities include free sessions for the children with a local movement and health program called Stretch-n-Grow, and various parent education events, such as a fall Welcome Back Night and a Valentine’s Day “Book Bingo” to support family literacy.

Staff development includes attendance by staff members at professional-development conferences, including the Pennsylvania Early Childhood Summit and the annual conference of the Central Susquehanna Association for the Education of Young Children.

Keystone STARS is an initiative of the state Office of Child Development and Early Learning. The intent of the STARS grants is to support continuous quality improvement in early learning and school-age programs by encouraging and supporting staff in developing and sustaining higher levels of quality, strengthening outcomes for children and families, and improving school readiness.

To be eligible for the award, facilities must maintain at least a Star 2 designation through the Keystone STARS initiative. The Children’s Learning Center is a Star 4 facility, the highest recognition level.

Keystone STARS grants are made from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and the Northeast Regional Key.

The Children’s Learning Center at Penn College serves students, faculty and staff whose children need high-quality, on-campus care and early childhood education while their parents work or attend classes. The center cares for children ages 12 months to 5 years.

The center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Middle States Commission on Elementary Education.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.