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An Overview of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvanias QRIS System – PAs Early Learning Keys to Quality Rebecca E. Gomez, M.Ed. Southeast Regional Key.

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Presentation on theme: "An Overview of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvanias QRIS System – PAs Early Learning Keys to Quality Rebecca E. Gomez, M.Ed. Southeast Regional Key."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Overview of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvanias QRIS System – PAs Early Learning Keys to Quality Rebecca E. Gomez, M.Ed. Southeast Regional Key

2 Background and Inception of PAs System Created in 2002 as a quality rating system and operated within fixed number of providers through a case management system; Since the inception of Keystone STARS, the performance standards have been the bedrock of the program; They are guided by the principle that quality early learning programs are the foundation for childrens success, and that investment in the early care and education of PAs children is an investment in the future; The Keystone STARS Performance Standards reflect research-based practices to improve outcomes for children; They are organized into 4 STAR levels that build upon each other in order to support continuous quality improvement – Accreditation is the top tier of the System (NAEYC, NAFCC, NAA, COA and NACCP).

3 Governance: A System-Oriented Reorganization Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) created in September 2004; The goal of OCDEL is to create a seamless system to serve young children and their families; OCDEL, through its volunteer committees, analyzed all programming and decided to develop the Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality; The new structure brought programs for children and families from the Departments of Public Welfare and Education under one umbrella; PA Early Learning Keys to Quality launched in July 2005.

4 PA Early Learning Keys to Quality Vision All Pennsylvania families will have access to high-quality early care and education and school-age child care opportunities for their children that foster success in school and in life. Mission To create a quality improvement system in which all early learning programs and practitioners are encouraged and supported to improve child outcomes. Improvements in programming are designed to increase the capacity to support childrens learning and development; increase educational attainment among practitioners; enhance professional skills and competencies in support of childrens learning and development.

5 Goals to Define Work 1.Establish new early learning programs; 2.Build the capacity of child care as partner for school readiness; 3.Improve professional preparation & development of teachers & administrators; 4.Assure access for most disadvantaged; 5.Engage parents and other stakeholders; 6.Fully coordinate efforts of Welfare & Education Departments –Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

6 Aligning the System with Vision, Mission, and Goals STARS – S tandards, T raining/Professional Development, A ssistance, R esources and S upports; Bring Professional Development and Program Quality together into the 6 Regional Keys with partners PA Key and OCDEL (lesson learned); Create a SYSTEM - all resources (financing etc.) examined to insure alignment with State objectives and linkages to STARS quality program improvement within DPW and PDE; STARS Advisory Committee reviews standards and recommends protocol/program changes.

7 System Administration: A Regional Approach

8 Regional Key Responsibilities: Professional Development System-Building Provide integrated PD and TA to support facility and practitioner participation and movement in STARS; Provide PD and TA to support practitioners and facilities to maintain Certification compliance; Facilitate access to PD and TA to assist practitioner movement along the career lattice; Coordinate regular communication and purposeful collaboration to facilitate the integration of PD and TA opportunities & build long-term cross-system and interagency relationships.

9 Professional Development System Conduct Professional Development and Technical Assistance inventories to determine the regions needs and resources; Develop early childhood education professional development and technical assistance plans and administer funds in the region directly and via subcontracts; Develop credit-bearing offerings and promote articulation agreements to assist in transferring credits from two-year to four-year colleges.

10 System Coordination: PA Key/ OCDEL Responsible for statewide coordination of system components such as: oManagement of statewide professional development credential programs, reimbursement strategies, registry; oProvision of technical assistance to community engagement groups in Regional Keys; oFacilitate Early Childhood Mental Health Project housed in Regional Keys; oCoordinate Environmental Rating Scales; oStatewide workgroups and advisory groups (e.g. Cross-systems Technical Assistance workgroup).

11 System Coordination: PA Key/ OCDEL continued Responsible for statewide coordination of other Quality Initiatives that are built on the STARS Program: oPennsylvania Pre-K Counts; oHead Start Supplemental Programs.

12 Financing the QRIS System Significant Commonwealth Investment up-front; oCCDF: $180,205,000 oFederal TANF Transfer to CCDF: $168,534,000 ; oDirect Federal TANF Spending on Child Care: $24,499,000 ; oState CCDF Maintenance of Effort Funds: $46,629,000; oState Matching Funds: $52,933,000 ; oTotal Funds Available: $472,800,000; oOther funding sources - e.g. Accountability Block Grant for Pre-K Counts; o21% Quality Set-Aside.

13 Paying for STARS SFY 06/07 $6,527,422 – Regional Keys (STAR Management); $5,072,729 – Professional Development and Technical Assistance (through Regional Keys); $2,128,986 – Community Engagement (58 Community grants through the Keys); $22.5 million - Payouts to providers; $10,674,907 – PA Key (PD, ERS, TA to Keys); $46,753,937 – Total 06/07 for Keystone STARS.

14 STARS Supports SFY 07/08 07/08 2 tiers 5-25% subsidy and 26%+

15 STARS Merit Awards SFY 07/08 07/08 2 tiers 5-25% subsidy and 26%+,

16 Education and Retention Award Director - BA in ECE Staff - BA in ECE Staff - AA in ECE Staff - CDA STAR 2$3,090$2,320$1,545$525 STAR 3$3,605$2,705$1,805$615 STAR 4$4,120$3,090$2,060$700 07/08 - Over 5 % Subsidy in the program to qualify

17 Keystone STARS/ Child Care Works Subsidy Add- On Daily Increase for STAR 2STAR 3STAR 4 Full-time$0.25$0.75$1.00 Part-time$0.15$0.40$0.50 Programs with STAR 2 and above receive a per child add-on to Child Care Works Subsidy Rate as of September 2007

18 Outreach and Community Engagement Engage local stakeholders, planning groups, certification representatives, institutions of higher education, parents, school district representatives, and the community at large in early care and education; Oversee the work of the Community Engagement contractors in each of the local areas; Develop opportunities for increased financial resources & partnering to support quality ECE within the region.

19 Pennsylvanias Promise for Children

20 PAs Promise for Children

21 Lessons Learned System versus Silo

22 Lessons Learned, contd Think about accountability – what if there is a burned out STAR? How do you review, suspend, remove STARS? Could be legal considerations; How much does it cost, or take, for programs to make the improvements you require? How does this relate to financing? (substitutes, PD/TA costs, materials, etc.); If the program is a statewide QRS, how do you maintain statewide consistency, while allowing for regional flexibility?

23 Final Thoughts and Next Steps Working on CQI in higher at risk programs, supporting quality in diverse early learning settings– thinking about new strategies; Leadership at all levels; Supporting people doing the work; Accountability – better data and statistics for decision making at the program level and the state level; Continuous Quality Improvement for the Continuous Quality Improvement System.

24 Contact Information Rebecca E. Gomez, M.Ed. Southeast Regional Key 1500 S. Columbus Blvd. Floor 2 Philadelphia, PA

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