IdahoSTARS (State Training and Registry System)
The IdahoSTARS Project is a voluntary program that provides training in child development, education, health, and safety and assessment of child care facilities based on national quality standards.
IdahoSTARS is a joint-project between the University of Idaho’s Center on Disabilities and Human Development (CDHD) and the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (Idaho AEYC) funded by the Idaho State Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) through the Child Care and Development Block Grant(CCDBG).
On July 1, 2003, the University of Idaho’s CDHD and Idaho AEYC began a statewide project to lead Idahos early care and education professional development system called IdahoSTARS or the Idaho State Training and Registry System. Many individuals and programs had worked for decades to advocate for the development of a professional development system. They paved the way for this historic opportunity.
The roots of IdahoSTARS were planted in 1999 when an oversight committee was convened by Idaho DHW to make recommendations for improving the Idaho Child Care Program (ICCP). Creating a voluntary Professional Development System (PDS) to improve the quality of child care in Idaho was one of the recommendations. The Child Care Advisory Panel continues to provide input on the content of the states professional development system through the IdahoSTARS Project.
A key goal of the PDS system has been that its development should be consumer driven with increased quality of child care for the children in the state, the ultimate outcome. When this outcome is achieved, research shows that children will enter school ready to learn and parents will be more productive in their work.
The IdahoSTARS Project is a voluntary program that provides training in child development, education, health, and safety and assessment of child care facilities based on national quality standards. The goal is to ensure that Idahos children have access to the highest quality child care and early education. IdahoSTARS does this by delivering a statewide Child Care Resource Center system that educates and supports parents and child care providers and provides a consistent structure that supports and promotes quality, inclusive child care and early education, and professional development.
The project offers the following provider supports:
- Professional Development
- Child Care Health Consulting
- Quality Rating and Improvement System
- Child Care Licensing Provider Support
- Idaho Child Care Program Provider Support
This professional development system is aimed toward individuals who work with children ages birth to 8 in a variety of settings utilizing inclusive practices, including:
- Family and group child care
- Child care centers
- Head Start programs
- Public and private schools: pre-K through 3rd grade
- Higher education: community and tribal colleges and universities
- Community agencies serving children and families.
IdahoSTARS goals for 2014-2019 include:
Conduct a community outreach and education campaign that results in statewide public and private demand for quality child care in Idaho.
Increase participation of children from low-income families in high quality child care by creating sustainable incentive strategies for providers and monitoring systems to track ICCP children in quality care.
Increase participation of child care providers across the state in IdahoSTARS Professional Development System (PDS).
To ensure on-going quality improvement and communication on outcomes, create an on-line integrated system to efficiently collect, store, and retrieve information on all aspects of IdahoSTARS programs.
Training opportunities across the state will: a). target essential skills for child care providers, b). be accessible in multiple formats, and c). be evaluated for effectiveness and quality.
Develop and implement an on-going research/evaluation plan to assess critical aspects of the IdahoSTARS program and to disseminate information that is statewide and nationally relevant.
Improve child care supports and services for children with diverse abilities.
To remain current and knowledgeable about evidenced-based practices across topics related to care and education for children, implement a professional development plan for all IdahoSTARS staff.
Learn more about IdahoSTARS at: http://www.idahostars.org/?q=new-providers
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