Reaching for the Stars
In Oklahoma a variety of initiatives have been implemented to improve the level of child care quality. The Reaching for the Stars program is a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) program that was instituted Feb. 1, 1998, to improve the quality of child care and provide child care providers with incentives.
The Reaching for the Stars Program has 4 levels of rating programs in which specified Differential Quality certification criteria must be met.
- One Star centers and homes meet minimum licensing requirements, all programs are given a one star rating and must apply to advance their level.\
- One Star Plus centers and homes meet One Star criteria and additional quality criteria including:
- Administrative practices such as membership on the Oklahoma Professional Development Registry and a professional development plan
- Increased professional development
- Learning environment including reading to children daily, physical activity, limited/no screen time
- More family engagement activities
- Some program evaluation, such as an annual health and safety checklist and equipment inventory
- Two-Star centers and homes meet One Star and One Star Plus criteria as well as:
- Additional Administrative practices
- Professional development in Early Learning Guidelines (ELG)
- Increased master teachers/provider qualifications
- Learning environment including more environments, using ELG for planning
- Additional family engagement activities
- Three Star centers and homes meet One Star, One Star Plus and Two Star criteria as well as have national accreditation from a CCS-approved source or be a Head Start in compliance with performance standards.