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Understanding How Changes to Keystone STARS Ratings Will Affect Gaps in the Supply of High Quality Childcare

On June 20, 2017 Pennsylvania’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), Keystone STARS, initiated changes to the standards for childcare providers across the state. Keystone STARS ratings serve as the primary indicator of center quality used by local stakeholders. At this early stage, it is unclear exactly how the changes to the Keystone STARS system will impact the number of rated facilities and the number of ‘high-quality’ centers in Philadelphia, but some changes to the number of centers rated high-quality seems likely.

This white paper presents an overview of the changes to the Keystone STARS rating, and models how these changes could impact the estimated gap in supply and demand for high-quality child care. We estimate that under the new Keystone STARS rating system the estimated supply of high-quality child care in Philadelphia will increase by over 5,000 seats. This estimate should be viewed as a conservative estimate that does not account for the full scope of changes to the Keystone STARS system.

This work is supported by a grant from The William Penn Foundation. The opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the William Penn Foundation. Other organizations involved in the provision, rating, funding and technical support to childcare organizations around the city of Philadelphia also contributed invaluable subject matter expertise to this effort.

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