Child care training instutute has a new home

July 14, 2009

An established training institute focused on improving the quality of child care in the midstate now has a new home at Penn State Harrisburg.

Affiliated with the University’s College of Health and Human Development since its inception in 1999, the Capital Area Early Childhood Training Institute (CAECTI) is now a part of the School of Behavioral Sciences and Education at Penn State Harrisburg.

Richard Fiene, principal investigator at the institute, said, “The purpose of the institute is to improve the quality of care for young children by providing, developing, and coordinating a wide variety of professional development opportunities to child care providers in an eight-county region.”

Although the administrative home has changed, the leadership and commitment remain the same, Fiene said.

“The move to Penn State Harrisburg makes sense,” he said.

Fiene previously held a joint faculty appointment with Penn State Harrisburg and the College of Health and Human Development. He is now full-time at the Middletown campus and coupled with the mission to serve the eight-county area in the capital region and the institute’s physical location on Front Street in Harrisburg contributed to the switch.

Supported primarily by the state’s Department of Public Welfare, the institute’s services include professional development opportunities in the Keystone STARS program, an initiative of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning to improve, support, and recognize the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvania.

“There are an estimated 1,400 child care centers and home based care locations throughout the region,” Fiene said. “The institute is designed to serve all the providers with services including Penn State credit and noncredit course offerings, onsite Keystone STARS technical assistance, and Early Childhood Mental Health Project services."

"Not just a service provider for the child care industry, the multi-faceted institute also serves as an academic resource for Penn State students," Fiene said. “We will provide our undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity for internships and research projects, and we are also involved with the College of Medicine in Hershey with some of its child psychiatric residents completing a rotation with us.”

In partnership with Child Care Consultants Inc. the institute serves an area which includes Adams, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties. For information, visit online at, e-mail, or call (717) 948-6061.

Last Updated July 28, 2017