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Early Childhood Programs

Rising STARS

Keystone STARS is one of the largest and most mature quality rating and improvement systems in the nation.  

Having just celebrated its 10 year anniversary, the Keystone STARS program must reach new heights in continuous quality improvement, just as it expects of the participating child care providers.  

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. Rising STARS is a two-pronged approach which redesigns: 1) the STARS grants and awards structure; and 2) the STARS subsidy add-on or tiered reimbursement rate.  Current add-on or tiered reimbursement rates went into effect 8/1/13.   

Rising STARS support grants for eligible STAR 1 providers

  • Applications due December 1, 2014

All active Keystone STAR 1 child care certified early care providers who are actively working on a Continuous Quality Improvement plan that includes moving up to a STAR 2 in a reasonable amount of time are eligible to apply for a Rising STARS grant.  [Eligibility exclusions include STARS Head Start, PA Pre-K Counts, and private licensed nursery schools.]  Eligible providers who have received NO MORE than one previous support grant may apply.

Family child care programs may apply for up to $2,000 and centers and group child care programs may apply for up to $5,000.  

If you have questions regarding the Rising STARS initiative, please send an email to ra-ocdearlylearning@pa.gov or contact your Regional Key.


For information about the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program and the CDA Assessment Fee Voucher Program, please visit the Financial Assistance page on the PA Key website.

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