(Posted November 7, 2011)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College Early Childhood Education Center has been recertified as a Keystone STAR 4 program from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, for a one-year period valid through 2013.

Juniata's center was first accredited as a STAR 4 facility in 2007.

To achieve a STAR 4 rating, the Early Childhood Education Center had to meet greater research-based standards for program quality. For example, at least half of lead teachers in STAR 4 centers or group child-care homes must have a bachelor's degree in early childhood education.

Juniata's Early Childhood Education Center serves as both a preschool for 40 children and a laboratory school for college students each semester. The center's curriculum gives children experience in math and logical reasoning, science, physical development, creative arts, social studies, social and emotional development, and language, literacy and communication.

Keystone STARS is a quality rating and improvement system that offers families a way to evaluate the quality of child care programs, so that they can make an informed decision that best suits their needs, as well as the needs of their children. As STAR levels increase from a STAR 1 up through a STAR 4, so do the requirements for meeting higher standards of quality

Keystone STARS quality standards build upon health and safety requirements regulated by the Department of Public Welfare. Nearly 4,500 Keystone STARS providers are serving nearly 170,000 children from birth to age twelve in 2010-2011

The center is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and is the only center in Huntingdon County that is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The center's students range in age from 3 to age 5.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.