Standards & Licenses

Keystone STARS

Keystone STARS provides Pennsylvania families a tool to gauge the quality of early care and education programs and is proven to increase the quality of child care. Child care and Head Start programs earn a STAR 1 to STAR 4 level by meeting quality standards for teacher qualifications, learning environment, and program management. Keystone STARS improving quality through:

  • Standards
  • Training/Professional Development
  • Assistance
  • Resources
  • Support

Keystone STARS is an initiative of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to improve, support, and recognize the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvania. The Keystone STARS Performance Standards provide the foundation for the program and the Performance Standards are grouped into four levels: STAR 1, STAR 2, STAR 3, and STAR 4.

Bala Cynwyd School for Young Children is proud to be a STAR 4 program.

Each level builds on the previous level and utilizes research-based best practices to promote quality early learning environments and positive child outcomes. The standards address staff qualifications and professional development, the early learning program, partnerships with family and community, and leadership and management.

To learn more about Keystone STARS, visit the Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality site at

Pennsylvania Licenses

1. Bala Cynwyd School for Young Child is licensed as a Private Academic School for Nursery and Kindergarten Education by the Pennsylvania Department of Education

The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Division of Planning, Private Academic Schools and Nonpublic, Nonlicensed (Operated by a Bona Fide Church or Religious Body) School services section, is your central source for information about private academic and nonpublic schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The responsibility of the Nonpublic and Private School Section is to license private academic schools and register nonpublic nonlicensed schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

There are three types of private schools in Pennsylvania and Bala Cynwyd School for Young Children falls under type 1:

  1. LICENSED PRIVATE ACADEMIC SCHOOLS are licensed and regulated by the State Board of Private Academic Schools, whose rules, regulations, and standards are concerned with quality education, teacher certification, attendance and courses of study, which closely parallel public school requirements. These schools are primarily nonsectarian.

To learn more about Early Learning Standards in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, visit


2. Bala Cynwyd School for Young Children is Licensed by the Department of Human Services as a Child Care Center

Child care and early learning providers operating a program for four or more unrelated children must be certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. The Department regulates three types of child care facilities and Bala Cynwyd School for Young Children falls under the definition of a Child Care Center.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania defines a child care facility as a child care provider in which seven or more children who are not related to the operator receive child care. A child care center must have a certificate of compliance (“license”) from the Department of Human Services (DHS) in order to legally operate.

To learn more about the The Department of Human Services regulations for operating a child care facility, visit the Child Care Regulations page on