Keystone STARS is Pennsylvania’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). A QRIS is a continuous quality improvement systemic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early and school-age care and education programs. Keystone STARS is a program of Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL).
Our Guiding Principles
Keystone STARS is a responsive system to improve, support, and recognize the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvania. Our system is guided by three core principles:
- A whole child approach to education is essential to meeting the holistic and individual needs of each and every child and family.
- Knowledgeable and responsive early care and education professionals are essential to the development of children and the support of families.
- Building and sustaining ongoing positive relationships among children, families, early care and education professionals and community stakeholders is essential for the growth and development of every child.
We believe inclusion, diversity, equity and respect are foundational values embedded in these principles.
Keystone STARS has four primary goals:
- To improve the quality of early care and education;
- To support early care and education providers in meeting their quality improvement goals;
- To recognize programs for continuous quality improvement and meeting higher quality standards; and
- To provide families a way to choose a quality early care and education program.
OCDEL’s Keystone STARS Program supports all early care and education programs to improve program quality. We encourage programs to think about the Keystone STARS Performance Standards as a tool to support continuous quality improvement (CQI) that impacts services to the children and families in your care.
Keystone STARS – Improving the quality through:
- Performance Standards (PDF)
- Program Manual (PDF)
- Pennsylvania’s Keystone STARS Revisioning Process: A Process Evaluation (PDF)
Interested in more information on Keystone STARS? Look no further:
- Take the first steps to joining Keystone STARS. Is your passion working with children? Have you thought about becoming certified? Take a look at the first steps to becoming a Keystone STARS provider!
- Learn more about eligibility requirements. All participating early care and education programs can receive technical assistance to support continuous quality improvement. Certified and compliant programs are welcomed to Keystone STARS by receiving STAR 1 designation.
- Review information about Keystone STARS Re-Visioning. As Pennsylvania strives to increase access to high-quality services, now is the time to refine Keystone STARS so that it is more efficient for providers to participate and more effective at improving child outcomes. Revisions to the Keystone STARS system began during the 2017-18 program year.
- Apply for financial aid with Rising STARS Tuition Assistance. The Rising STARS initiative focuses on access to the highest quality services for hard to reach / hard to serve children and families by providing supports to providers as they move up the quality scale to STAR 3 and 4 levels.
- Use Keystone STARS Outreach Tools in your program. A home for Keystone STARS logos, newsletter templates, and more resources to communicate with families about your STARS program.