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from PA Promise in partnership with OCDEL

Keystone STARS

Keystone STARS logo

Looking for quality child care? Reach for the STARS!

Keystone STARS can help you understand the quality of a child care/ early learning program. For a young child, everything is a learning experience. The early learning program you choose, such as child care or Head Start, can affect how well your child does in kindergarten, school, and in life.

Children who attend a quality child care / early learning program

  • come to kindergarten ready to learn;
  • do better in school; and
  • are more likely to graduate high school, attend college, and get good jobs.

What is Keystone STARS?

Keystone STARS rates child care programs from one to four STARS on things you care about. Programs may meet state regulations for safety, and offer a kid-friendly atmosphere with good teachers that partner with you to help your child learn. Child care and Head Start programs within Keystone STARS earn a STAR 1 to STAR 4 rating based on quality standards that measure:

  • Staff education: Early childhood teachers have the training and knowledge for working with young children
  • Classroom/Learning environment: The program has a variety of materials and activities for each age level that makes it possible for children to learn something new every day!
  • Including families and the community: Families and community members are encouraged to become a part of the child’s learning progress
  • Leadership and management: A quality program has to have sound business practices to ensure your child’s safety and early learning

As programs earn more STARS, they are providing higher quality early education for your child.

Find STARS programs near you at www.findchildcare.pa.gov. (Just look for the STAR level when you get your search results.)

What to expect at a Keystone STARS program

Department of Human Services Certificate of Compliance for child care centers or Certificate of Registration for family child care homes.

  • A comfortable place where your child can explore and learn
  • Laughing, reading, and talking which builds language skills
  • Teachers who continue to learn new ways to help your child thrive
  • A safe, healthy, and exciting place
  • Music, art, science and play activities that increase school readiness
  • Your child feeling good about himself or herself
  • Families involved in the program and their child’s development
  • Teachers that listen to children and parents
  • Children having fun together and being respectful of each other

Find Keystone STARS programs!

You can search for child care/ early learning programs near you at www.findchildcare.pa.gov.  Click on “Find a Provider” to choose what you are looking for in a program. You can select by things like your child’s age, your location, if you need access to public transportation, and if the program participates in Keystone STARS. 

Concerned about your child’s development?

Call Pennsylvania’s CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288 for information about your child’s development and connecting to Early Intervention services in Pennsylvania.

Call Child Care Works Helpline at 1-877-4-PA-KIDS (1-877-472-5437) for information about finding, paying for and other concerns related to child care.

Learn more about these Helplines