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Early Childhood Directors Earn State-Recognized Credential

Eleven central Pennsylvania early childhood educators completed a nine-credit credentialing program at Pennsylvania College of Technology during 2011-12.

STEP Inc., Central Regional Key, paid tuition and textbook costs for directors employed at early childhood education centers that participate in Pennsylvania’s Keystone Stars continuous quality assurance program.

The Pennsylvania Early Childhood Director Credential was developed by the state in response to business and industry needs. It is designed to provide a standard by which to measure program and fiscal management and leadership abilities of early childhood (and school-age) directors and administrators. Penn College was one of the first institutions approved to offer the required course work in 2005.

“As families are seeking quality care for their children, it is critical that early childhood and school-age program directors and administrators undergo tailored and high-quality professional development in leadership, family engagement and program administration,” said Claudia Hunold, professional development consultation supervisor for STEP Inc., Central Regional Key. “The Pennsylvania Director’s Credential is designed to provide professional development. Central Regional Key is excited that more and more early-learning and school-age professionals are completing this course.”

To earn the Penn College Early Childhood Director Competency Credential, participants must satisfactorily complete nine credits of course work.

To be eligible to pursue the Early Childhood Director Competency Credential, a student must have received an associate degree in state-designated related fields, such as early childhood education, child development or human services.

The benefit of earning the Early Childhood Director Competency Credential is increased status for the director’s early care and education facility in the Keystone Stars program. Keystone Stars, administered by the state Office of Child Development and Early Learning, is a voluntary quality-improvement program. Participating facilities are rated according to several criteria, one of which is the staff’s training level. A higher star rating can make a facility eligible for more state subsidies.

Those earning the credential in 2011-12 are Linda Fallon, of Talyor Park Children’s Center in Reedsville; Melissa Hamm, of Bostley’s Preschool Lycoming Creek, Williamsport; Carolyn Hawk, of River Valley YMCA Child Care in Williamsport; Tatum Heiser, of Blessed Beginnings Preschool and Child Care, Williamsport; Stacey Lee, of Blessed Beginnings Preschool and Child Care, Williamsport; Kimberly McPherson, of Paddington Station Preschool and Child Care, Williamsport; Diane Oliva, of River Valley YMCA Child Care, Williamsport; Carrie Pase, of Mom’s Inc., McElhattan; Shawna Sacharczyka, of Gordon Thompson Hildebrandt Learning Center, Bloomsburg; Rachel Shoemaker of Easter Seals Child Development Center, State College; and Denise Zaruta, of Gordon Thompson Hildebrandt Learning Center, Bloomsburg.

To learn more about early childhood education and other academic programs offered by the School of Integrated Studies, call 570-327-4521.

For more information about the college, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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