The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has released the Announcement: ELRC-20 #12 , 2020 Keystone STARS Performance Standards and Program Manual.
This Announcement provides information to child care programs regarding the 2020 Keystone STARS Performance Standards. This is an updated policy, providing additional information and replaces ELS-KS-18 #02 Keystone STARS Performance Standards and Program Manual and accompanying documents. Along with the official policy announcement are:
This Announcement also provides information on changes to Program Quality Assessment within Keystone STARS. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, OCDEL is temporarily changing the Keystone STARS requirement for Program Quality Assessment (PQA), found in the Early Childhood Education Program indicator EC 3.4.5, for all STAR 3 and 4 programs for FY 20/21. Previously Keystone STARS quality indicator EC 3.4.5, required all programs seeking to move to a STAR 3 or 4 or renew their STAR 3 or 4 designation to have an external PQA using either Environment Rating Scales (ERS) or CLASS and meet the minimum threshold scores for each STAR level.
As a result of current and ongoing conditions of COVID-19, the following temporary changes have been made to the role Program Quality Assessment (PQA) has in the Keystone STARS Performance Standards for the 2020-21 program Year*:
  • Integrate a program’s Facility COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan into CQI activities (EC 2.1 and EC 3.4.5)
  • Transition from the use of a formal external PQA to an internal Assessment process that will guide programs in their CQI activities (EC 3.4.5)
  • Provide programs the opportunity to consult with a Program Quality Assessor at the completion of their internal assessment process (EC 3.4.6)
  • Replace “self-assessment” with the term “internal assessment”
  • Remove PQA minimum threshold scores for STAR 3 and 4 programs
* Changes to temporarily suspend the requirement for an external PQA (ERS or CLASS Assessment) in the 2020-21 Keystone STARS Performance Standards are related to best practices in the mitigation of the spread of COVID-19. In future renewal cycles beginning after June 30, 2021, programs may be required to have an external program assessment and meet threshold scores to continue designation at STAR 3 or STAR 4. OCDEL will issue an announcement and revised STAR Standards when any expectations regarding the designation process changes which will align with new program years.
A recorded webinar will be available to providers the week of Aug. 10, 2020 which will provide an overview of the 2020 Keystone STARS Performance Standards. More information and instructions for viewing will be provided soon.