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LEHIGH VALLEY, PENNSYLVANIA – On Monday, February 12, 2024, state Representative Ann Flood (R-District 138) recognized two of The Learning Locomotion’s newest sites for their commitment to continuous quality improvement as they moved up in Pennsylvania’s Keystone STARS quality rating system, from a STAR 3 to STAR 4. The centers’ other two locations, in Bangor and Stockertown, already have the highest quality designation in the state, a Keystone STAR 4.
 “Quality child care and a Keystone STARS 4 designation means you’re giving children the tools that help build strong foundational skills so they can flourish.” said Representative Flood. In presenting the certificate she thanked the staff for taking care of the children because they are “our future.”
The original site in Bangor has participated in the Keystone STARS program since its inception in 2002. Owners Tanya and Eileen Peifly opened their first location in Bangor in 1998. Currently, all four locations care for over 200 children from 6 weeks of age to twelve years old. Keystone STARS builds upon state child care licensing regulations by focusing on the essential elements of quality, including physical environment, instructional materials, program support structure, and most importantly, interpersonal relationships and daily interactions. The acronym “STARS” stands for “standards, training/professional development, assistance, resources and support.
“Now all four Learning Locomotion centers are STAR 4 rated, which is the highest possible rating a center can achieve. We know how important it is for all of our locations to offer children a stimulating, nurturing environment which helps prepare them for school and to reach their fullest potential” said co-owner Tanya Peifly, “Our quality programs provide a fun learning experience and a loving atmosphere in which children thrive and acquire a desire to learn.”
While parents will always be a child’s first and most important teachers, high-quality programs, like The Learning Locomotion, offer opportunities for children to learn through play in safe environments that are developmentally appropriate for their age level while their parents work. In Pennsylvania only 46% of licensed child care programs have a high-quality designation and in Northampton County only 39% of child care programs are considered high-quality.
“We know that the child care teacher is the central component to a high-quality program. At a time when so many providers are struggling to recruit and retain staff, this accomplishment is even more impressive,” said Jen DeBell, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children. “We congratulate The Learning Locomotion and appreciate Representative Flood highlighting the importance of high-quality early learning.”
Start Strong PA is an initiative of Early Learning PA. Through a statewide collaboration of partners, Start Strong PA aims to support healthy child development, working families, and the economy by increasing access to and affordability of high quality child care programs for young children. Learn more at
Information provided to TVL by:
Jan Schwartz