Shapiro Administration Announces New Grant Funding Available for Child Care Providers to Invest in Programs, Activities that Promote Quality of Care and Professional Development

Harrisburg, PA - Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh today announced the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is accepting applications for Keystone STARS Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) awards. The one-time grant opportunity is now open for all eligible certified child care providers in Pennsylvania to apply. This award includes new flexibilities surrounding eligible expenses to help child care providers use the funds for even more programs and activities.

“Child care providers and early childhood education professionals help nurture and educate our youngest Pennsylvanians and this grant will support their efforts to continue to provide quality care and education to our children,” said Secretary Arkoosh. “The Keystone STARS CQI Award is an exciting new opportunity for providers, and I encourage all who are eligible to apply. We understand that our child care providers are still navigating operating and workforce challenges right now so, our goal is to provide as much support as we can to help cover the costs of additional professional and program development.”

The Keystone STARS CQI Award is a one-time award, paid to eligible child care programs in good licensing standing with a Keystone STARS 2, 3, or 4 quality designation. The award will be paid through the Early Learning Resource Center directly to the eligible child care program. Eligible providers should expect a Keystone STARS CQI Award Eligibility and Acceptance Letter this month that includes the total grant amount they are eligible for. The deadline to respond is February 15, 2024.

The grant is funded with $12 million of federal Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) funds and will allow child care programs to support and invest in activities that promote quality of care and professional development that will positively impact children in care. 

Programs can use the Keystone STARS CQI Award funds for eligible expenses in the following categories:

  • Staff qualifications and professional development;
  • Early childhood education programs;
  • Partnerships with families and communities;
  • Leadership and management; and,
  • Accreditation costs.

OCDEL is jointly overseen by the Department of Human Services and the Department of Education. Keystone STARS is OCDEL’s quality measurement for certified child care providers that measures and recognizes work of Pennsylvania early learning and school-age programs. OCDEL provides grants and financial supports, such as tiered reimbursement, to Keystone STARS 2, 3, and 4 providers as part of their comprehensive support programs for child care providers in the Commonwealth.

Visit here to learn more about the Keystone STARS CQI Award.  

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