QUALITYstars NY Expands to Saratoga County

SARATOGA, NY – Families in Saratoga County will have a new tool to make better choices about child care due to the local expansion of QUALITYstarsNY, New York’s quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). Using a 5 star rating scale, QUALITYstarsNY assigns a star rating based on program quality, helping to simplify one of the most challenging decisions parents have to face. What’s more, QUALITYstarsNY provides participating programs with a wide range of resources to ensure they can improve their quality over time while providing the highest quality care now. “Thanks to continued support from Governor Cuomo and the legislature, we are delighted to have resources to support Saratoga County’s high needs communities,” said Acting Director Helga Yuan-Larsen. “We have conclusive research that demonstrates the effectiveness of our approach to quality improvement and feel privileged to have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the region.”

“The Saratoga County EOC Head Start Program is looking forward to participating in QUALITYstarsNY,” said SCEOC Executive Director Jo Anne Hume. “As a principle provider of early childhood programming for low-income families in Saratoga County, we believe that QUALITYstarsNY will improve the standard of child care for all children, strengthening families, and our communities.”

Research shows that critical pathways to brain development and social skills develop before age five, making high quality early learning essential in preparing children to succeed in school and in life. Using rigorous, culturally responsive, research-based standards as a framework, QUALITYstarsNY systematically supports programs to improve quality and child outcomes. Investments include targeted coaching and technical assistance to program administrators and teaching staff, scholarships for staff to attend ­college-level early education-related coursework, and materials and furnishings for the learning environment.

“The Capital Region is home to QUALITYstarsNY programs in Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Montgomery Counties. Participation demonstrates the commitment early childhood educators have to high quality early childhood experiences,” said Abbe Kovacik, Executive Director of the Capital District Child Care Council. “As residents of the region we are thankful for the expansion to Saratoga County.”

In 2010, 13 communities across the state, including Albany and Schenectady counties, were selected to participate in the QUALITYstarsNY pilot program. In 2014, QUALITYstarsNY expanded into Rensselaer County through a three year grant from the United Way of the Greater Capital Region and the Capital District Child Care Council; and in 2016, the program began in Montgomery County. According to Sherry Cleary, Executive Director of the NY Early Childhood Professional Development, which oversees QRIS implementation, the goal in the coming year is to “at least double” the state’s current $5 million allocation for QUALITYstarsNY so that more children can access the high quality experiences they need to succeed in school and life.

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The mission of the Capital District Child Care Council is to promote quality early care and education in the region and help others recognize that an investment in the education of our youngest children is an investment in our future. Learn more at cdcccc.org 

Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council, Inc. (SCEOC) is the federally designated Community Action Agency for Saratoga County, dedicated to providing and promoting opportunities for low-income families to achieve self-sufficiency. Learn more at saratogaeoc.org

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