Resources for Child Care Providers


All providers must be licensed by their state’s licensing agency and have a minimum Keystone STAR rating of a STAR Level 2. If you, as a child care provider, are not participating in the Keystone STARS program, you must have earned national accreditation (search links below). Providers are responsible for billing Penn State each month in order to receive payment for child care services provided to the awardee. All families and child care directors will receive an award letter regarding amounts and dates of services. A waiting list for funds is maintained as necessary. 


Information on Quality Improvement Programs


Keystone STARS is an initiative of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to improve, support, and recognize the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvania. The Keystone STARS Performance Standards provide the foundation for the program. The Performance Standards are grouped into four levels: Star 1, Star 2, Star 3, and Star 4.

Each level builds on the previous level and utilizes research-based best practices to promote quality early learning environments and positive child outcomes. The standards address staff qualifications and professional development, the early learning program, partnerships with family and community, and leadership and management.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

NAEYC Accreditation began in 1985 with the goal of providing an accrediting system that would raise the level of early childhood programs. Today, over 7,000 programs are NAEYC Accredited. NAEYC accredited programs invest in early childhood education because they believe in the benefits to children and families.

For more information, visit the NAEYC accreditation page.

Search for NAEYC accredited providers

National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)

The National Association for Family Child Care is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting quality child care by strengthening the profession of family child care.  Accreditation provides public notification that an institution or program meets standards of quality set forth by an accrediting agency. Also, accreditation reflects the fact that in achieving recognition by the accrediting agency, the institution or program is committed to self-study and external review by one's peers in seeking not only to meet standards but to continuously seek ways in which to enhance the quality of the services provided.

For more information, visit the NAFCC accreditation page.

Search for NAFCC accredited providers

National AfterSchool Association

The National AfterSchool Association is dedicated to the development, education, and care of children and youth during their out of school hours.

For more information, visit the NAA accreditation page.

Council on Accreditation Standards (COA)

COA is a non-profit organization with a 30 year history of working in the accreditation field. Currently, more than 1800 organizations serving 7 million children, individuals and families of all ages are accredited by COA. COA's philosophy is to partner with organizations to use accreditation as a strategy to become stronger in terms of their capacity to provide services of exceptional quality.

For more information, visit the COA standards page.

Search for COA accredited providers