Central NY is Reaching for the Stars
The NYS Education Department (SED) has allocated $4 million from its federal Race to the Top grant to support implementation of QUALITYstarsNY in 2012‐2014. 46 child care and preschool programs in Central NY have been selected to participate.
QUALITYstarsNY is a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) for early childhood settings including child care centers, family and group family child care settings, Head Start, Early Head Start and Universal Pre-K. QUALITYstarsNY links the programs to “star ratings” and supports programs in meeting quality standards. Participating programs will go through an assessment and improvement process with the help of a quality improvement specialist and other supports from QUALITYstarsNY.
This is a great opportunity for Central NY. Communities that invest in a quality early care and education system benefit from reduced costs associated with grade retention and special education, use of health and mental health services and use of the criminal justice system. Cost benefit analyses indicate that there is as much as a 7 to 1 return on an investment made in early care and education in savings on future social service needs.
Child Care Solutions headed up the recruitment process in our area sharing information about QUALITYstarsNY. Throughout May and June Child Care Solutions hosted information sessions and guided early care and education programs through the application process. The selected programs were notified by QUALITYstarsNY last week. School based programs will begin applying in September.
A large body of research supports the many positive and long-term outcomes for children who attend high-quality early care and education, including better school performance, higher rates of high school and college completion, increased earnings in adulthood and higher rates of home ownership. QUALITYstarsNY will provide a clear, organized way to assess, improve and communicate the quality of New York’s early care and education programs.
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