Play & Learn Aims High and Succeeds
Play & Learns’ Norristown location rose to an elite level amongst Pennsylvania child care centers today by receiving its designation as a STAR 4 center, as part of the state-endorsed Keystone STARS program, an initiative of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL).
Montgomery County, PA currently has 439 licensed child care programs, of which only 71 have earned a STAR 4 rating according to OCDEL. The Keystone STARS program seeks to improve, support and recognize the continuous quality improvements efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvanian.
To achieve a STAR 4 rating, Norristown Play & Learn went through a lengthy process in which director and staff qualifications and professional development, the learning program, partnerships with families and communities and leadership and management all must meet very specific criteria. Keystone STARS provided training to advance staff education, technical assistance to help programs meet STAR level requirements, and additional resources through support grants and merit awards to support continued quality improvements.
As part of this focus the Center Director, Deserie Rivers holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Chestnut Hill College and a certificate in pre-k through 4th grade education as well. While working towards STAR 4, the center received technical support from Keystone STARS in the areas of health and safety.
When Director Deserie Rivers was asked about why Keystone STARS is important to her, she responded “Keystone STARS inspires us to follow best practices. Their standards improve the quality of services we provide to our children and families on a daily basis.”