Oct. 01, 2018

HARRISBURG – The House of Representatives today advanced bipartisan legislation, co-authored by state Reps. Thomas Mehaffie (R-Dauphin) and Jared Solomon (D-Philadelphia), to help parents and caregivers with the difficult decision of which day care to send their children.

House Bill 1742 would require all state licensed child care centers to post their Keystone STARS rating in a prominent location and on their websites.

“Parents are faced with dozens of decisions every day that impact the well-being of their child, their family and their family’s future,” Mehaffie said. “With this bill, we hope to make one of the more daunting choices a little easier by putting each facility’s quality rating front and center.”

The Keystone STARS program, operated by the state Office of Child Development and Early Learning, sets quality requirements for early childhood educators based on a four-star rating system. All licensed child care centers that meet the state’s health and safety requirements are required to be part of the Keystone STARS system.

The Keystone STARS performance standards are grouped into four levels. The standards address staff qualifications and professional development, early learning programs, partnerships with family and the community, and leadership and management.

The lawmakers added that they hope the new display requirements will encourage low-rated child care centers to improve their programs.

“My district has seen the number of child cares balloon in the last five years, but too few are high-quality,” said Solomon. “This bill, by requiring that child care providers clearly display their Keystone Star, informs parents clearly about the quality of the child care where they choose to send their kids. And in doing so, it makes quality a more prominent part of their decision making and encourage more child cares to become higher quality providers.”

“Our region is home to many great, four-star rated child care centers. We are fortunate to have such excellent choices, but that isn’t the case everywhere in Pennsylvania,” Mehaffie said. “By putting these ratings front and center, we will also allow the free market to thrive in the economy for child care. Because not only should our kids be receiving the best child care, they should also get a four-star educational experience.”

House Bill 1742 now awaits consideration by the Senate.

Representative Thomas Mehaffie
106th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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