Children’s Learning Center Receives Keystone Stars Grants

The Dunham Children’s Learning Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology received $34,600 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Human Services through the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

The funding comes in the form of a Keystone Stars Merit Award of $12,675 and a Keystone Stars Education and Retention Award of $21,925.

Children who attend the Dunham Children’s Learning Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology select books to take home and call their own during a Book Bingo event at the center. The books are purchased through a Keystone Stars grant.

The Merit Award was granted to reward the Children’s Learning Center for maintaining a four-star level in the Keystone Stars rating system and to help the center to continuously improve the quality of its service. The funds will be used to purchase a variety of furnishings, books, learning toys and other teaching aids, to install hands-free water faucets, and to provide additional mulch in the play yard to maintain safety. The grant will also be used to ensure that all staff meet the hours of professional development required by Keystone Stars and the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and it will cover the fee for the Children’s Learning Center to maintain membership in the Pennsylvania Child Care Association, as well as the cost of accreditation.

The Education and Retention Award was granted to reward staff who meet state-recommended education levels, with the goal of providing a stable workforce and reducing turnover.

Keystone Stars is an initiative of the state Office of Child Development and Early Learning. The intent of the Stars grants is to support continuous quality improvement in early learning and school-age programs by encouraging and supporting staff in developing and sustaining higher levels of quality, strengthening outcomes for children and families, and improving school readiness.

To be eligible for an award, facilities must maintain at least a Star 2 designation through the Keystone Stars initiative. The Children’s Learning Center is a Star 4 facility, the highest recognition level.

The Children’s Learning Center at Penn College serves students, faculty and staff whose children need high-quality, on-campus care and early childhood education while their parents work or attend classes.

The center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Middle States Commission on Elementary Education.

For more about grant-funding opportunities, faculty and staff may contact Grants & Sponsored Programs at ext. 7580 or through its Web portal.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.