Stewardship can be defined as caring for something worth caring for. The children of the Kendal- Crosslands Communities Early Childhood Development Center are certainly that. They are also future stars—not only because some of the children whose little feet once frequented the Center’s halls are now KCC staff members, they are also beneficiaries of the Keystone STARS program.

Created specifically to support early learning programs in Pennsylvania, Keystone STARS improves the quality of childhood development through Standards, Training/professional development, Assistance, Resources and Support. The program recognizes continuous quality improvement efforts in early learning in Pennsylvania. Early learning programs can earn from a STAR 1 to a STAR 4 level. At each level, programs have to meet certain research based quality standards that provides the foundation for accreditation.

KCC’s Center has reached the STAR 2 level and is recognized by its fellow centers in the area for its high standards of care. KCC anticipates reaching STAR 4 level in the near future. Reaching higher STAR levels provides additional resources for the Center, including learning tools in areas such as science and math, toys and electronics.

KCC has had a child development center for over 20 years and today there are 16 children. The Center provides wonderful learning and caring spaces for children from toddler stage as they move forward to kindergarten. Beyond the STARS however, there is a place that’s even more precious and that is the intergenerational experiences between the children and residents Every week, there are opportunities for fellowship between the children and residents. For example, for shared birthday parties the children make birthday cakes, hats and cards for residents. And when the children learn to swim, residents who frequent the pool are more than willing to be their teachers. KCC’s little stars are not inhibited by their obvious distance in years but easily joined by a spirit that is delighted with a simple hello, sharing a smile, friendship, and care.