PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Michael A. Nutter has proclaimed October 2011 as Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children Month. The proclamation was issued to Public Health Management Corporation’s Southeast Regional Key (SERK) and the Philadelphia County Local Education and Resource Network (LEARN) team. “We at the SERK team are thrilled that the Mayor recognizes the important work of child care providers in our region,” says Amy Friedlander, managing director of management services at Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), which operates the SERK. “Through the proclamation, Mayor Nutter recognizes that investment in quality early education builds strong children, secure families, and thriving communities.” Friedlander goes on to say. “Mayor Nutter clearly recognizes that the developmental and learning benefits that our children realize from quality early-learning opportunities extend well into the future – preparing them for kindergarten, helping them to graduate from high school, and securing them a place in the workforce. Working parents with quality child care options are better able to maintain employment, thereby increasing family income and stability. And early childhood education is an important economic driver in Philadelphia, providing tax revenue and employment opportunities.”
SERK and the Philadelphia County LEARN are among local organizations that provide leadership in the area of community involvement in the education and well-being of our youth and promote and celebrate quality early education. Through the work of SERK and Philadelphia County LEARN, families, teachers and leaders help our young children reach their promise every day.
About Keystone STARS
Southeast Regional Key (SERK) administers the Keystone STARS program on behalf of the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) for the state of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware counties. PHMC manages the SERK.
The Keystone STARS program is an initiative of OCDEL to improve, support and recognize the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvania. The STARS in the program stand for Standards; Training/Professional Development; Assistance; Resources and Support. The program is a quality performance model where Early Childhood Education (ECE) providers are designated at one of four levels depending on an evaluation.
About Philadelphia LEARN The LEARN networks are charged with effectively communicating with and engaging families and providing support to families with a child transitioning into an early learning setting or those with children entering kindergarten. LEARN teams act as a resource for the early childhood education community in promoting OCDEL programs such as Keystone STARS, through activities such as early learning events and/or other programs within a community that emphasize quality early education programs and access to early learning opportunities. LEARN team members also work with school districts and community-based early learning programs to foster systemic smooth transitions from preschool to kindergarten for children, parents and teachers. In Philadelphia the LEARN network is led by the Child Care Information Services Northeast.
About Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children is a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of providing Pennsylvania’s young children with quality early learning opportunities. Sponsored by the PA Build Initiative, Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality, The Grable Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, and William Penn Foundation, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL).