PA Department of Public Welfare
Step by Step is licensed by the PA Department of Public Welfare (DPW). The quality of care at Step by Step is both guided and monitored by the DPW standards set out in PA Code Chapter 3270, which are available for viewing in hard copy in the atrium, or online at www.pacode.com/secure/data/055/chapter3270/chap3270toc.html. The DPW has set regulations and standards for the general health and safety of all of our students, including student-teacher ratios, physical space needed, safety of all classroom materials, play equipment, and the environment in general. They conduct annual and unannounced inspections each year to monitor adherence to their standards and maintain our facility’s license.
Another program guiding the quality of care at Step by Step is the Pennsylvania Keystone STARS (Standards, Training, Assistance, Resources, and Support), an initiative of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning. STARS is a program intended “to improve, support, and recognize the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvania” (PA Keys website). The STARS system is based on four levels of quality, STAR 1, STAR 2, STAR 3, and STAR 4. “Each level builds on the previous level and utilizes research-based best practices to promote quality early learning environments and positive child outcomes. The standards address staff qualifications and professional development, the early learning program, partnerships with family and community, and leadership and management” (PA Keys website). To find out more about the STARS program and the specific performance standards of each STAR level, please visit their website at www.pakeys.org/pages/get.aspx?page=Programs_STARS.
Step by Step is committed to achieving a STAR 4 designation with the highest level of quality. The school is currently in the STAR 3 designation. We will keep families notified of changes in our STARS designation as they come about!