IdahoSTARS (State Training and Registry System)
IdahoSTARS is a statewide early care and education professional development system and registry system.
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), and is funded by the Idaho State Department of Health and Welfare through the Child Care and Development Block Grant. Though it was officially founded in 2003, IdahoSTARS was advocated for by many since 1999.
A key goal of the professional development system has been that its development be consumer driven, with increased quality of child care for the children in the state. When this outcome is achieved, research shows that children will enter school ready to learn and parents will be more productive in their work.
IdahoSTARS 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 Idaho’s children have access to the highest quality child care and early education. IdahoSTARS does this by delivering a statewide Child Care Resource Center system. This Resource center is dedicated to educating and supporting parents and child care providers by supplying 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
This professional development system is aimed toward individuals who work with children ages birth to 8 in a variety of settings, 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.
- Increase participation of child care providers across the state in IdahoSTARS Professional Development System.
- To ensure on-going quality improvement and communication on outcomes, create an online integrated system to efficiently collect, store, and retrieve information on all aspects of IdahoSTARS programs.
- Offer training that targets essential skills for child care providers, is accessible in multiple formats, and is evaluated for effectiveness and quality.
- Develop and implement an on-going research/evaluation plan to assess critical aspects of the IdahoSTARS program and disseminate information that is statewide and nationally relevant.
- Improve child care supports and services for children with diverse abilities.
- 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.