Keystone STARSIf you are a provider, this page is for you.

Providers can learn about our Keystone STARS program here; you will also find useful resources.
Pennsylvania Keystone Stars Logo

What is Keystone STARS?

Keystone STARS is Pennsylvania’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). A QRIS is a continuous quality improvement systemic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early and school-age care and education programs. Keystone STARS is a program of Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL).

STARS means improving quality through:

  • Standards
  • Training/Professional Development
  • Assistance
  • Resources and Support

OCDEL’s Keystone STARS Program supports all early care and education programs to improve program quality by setting continuous quality improvement goals and meeting higher standards. In addition, the STARS program recognizes early learning programs for achieving higher STAR levels and provides families with a way to choose quality early care and education.

For more information about Keystone STARS please click here

Provider Forms

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Online Resources for Child Care Providers

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Resource TitleResource Description

Childcare Regulations (DHS)

Childcare Regulations for Childcare Centers

Childcare Regulations for Group Childcare Homes

Childcare Regulations for Family Childcare Homes
Find what the childcare regulations are for centers, groups, and family homes in PA.

55 Pa. Code, Chapter 3270, Child Care Centers

This regulation provides the rules regarding the operation of a child day care center. A child care center is a facility in which seven or more children unrelated to the operator receive child care services. A child day care center must have a certificate of compliance (license) from DHS in order to operate.

55 Pa. Code, Chapter 3280, Group Child Care Homes

This regulation provides the rules regarding the operation of a group day care home. A group care home is a facility in which seven to 12 children unrelated to the operator receive child care services. A group day care home must have a certificate of compliance (license) from DHS in order to operate.

55 Pa. Code, Chapter 3290, Family Child Care Homes


This regulation provides the rules regarding the operation of a family care home. A family day care home is a facility in which four, five or six children unrelated to the operator receive child care services. A family care home must be located in a home and must have a certificate of registration from DHS in order to operate.
PA Promise For ChildrenGuide to information, activities and programs to help young children develop (includes the Early Learning GPS and Kindergarten readiness activities)
Pennsylvania Keystone STARS SMART Document UploaderUse this to access the Pennsylvania Keystone STARS SMART Document Uploader. If you need help, you can view the Keystone STARS Document Uploader Webinar
Keystone STARS Grants and AwardsForms and information related to applying for Rising Stars Merit and ERA awards. For providers in ELRC 6, providers should submit grant documents to elrc6grants@ccaofpa.org
PD RegistryUsing the PD Registry, Early Learning and School-Age Professionals can
  • Track employment, education and training history
  • Complete their professional development plan by using an easy to use self-assessment tool
  • Find statewide, regional, and online quality professional training opportunities.
Pennsylvania Early Education NewsUse this link to access archived e-news and updates on OCDEL programs and policies, trends, reports, and resources and to subscribe to the PA Early Ed News and DHS Certification e-mail lists.
Pennsylvania KEYS WebsiteThe PA Keys Website is Pennsylvania’s early childhood source for professionals. You can check here for the latest news, events and links to additional initiatives and resources
Keystone STARS Provider Self Service WebsiteUse this to access the Keystone STARS Provider self service website. If you need assistance, you can download the Provider Self Service Instructions

Keystone STARS Provider Self Service Video
Raise your STARFind information for the Early Learning Resource Centers accross the state. Pennsylvania's Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs) provide a single point-of-contact for families, early learning service providers, and communities to gain information and access services that support high-quality child care and early learning programs. ELRCs consolidate the work of former Child Care Information Service Agencies (CCIS) and the former Regional Keys to create an enhanced resource and referral system for communities seeking early learning services and supports.
STARS Add-on Rates and Grants & Award Structure OverviewThis will download a PDF file

What is a Quality Coach?

Quality Coaches are a valuable resource for programs in the Keystone STARS. A coach is available to help providers with resources and connections to services. They assist your program in conducting self assessments and creating goals and action items to improve quality. Quality Coaches also support programs in the evidence gathering process to move to the next STAR level.

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