Policy Resource

Kentucky Ramps Up Quality Rating and Improvement System To Include All Programs

Feb 9, 2016

On March 19, 2015, Kentucky Governor Beshear signed into law HB 234 creating Kentucky All STARS, a redesigned five-star quality rating system for early care and education programs.

Unlike the previous STARS for KIDS NOW program, which was voluntary and only included licensed and certified child care programs, all public and private programs receiving public funds will now be required to take part in All STARS. This redesign was spurred by Kentucky’s commitment to ensuring all families have uniform information to select quality programs for their children, as well as a 2011 study by Child Trends that showed enhancements to the original model, created in 2000, were in order.

By the end of 2017, all publicly funded early care and learning programs –including Head Start, state-funded pre-K, and child care – will be brought into the rating system. During this time, all programs that want to work to improve quality will be eligible for training and technical assistance and financial rewards. Funding to provide the hands-on coaching, technical assistance, and incentives for improvement will come from the states Race to the Top “ Early Learning Challenge grant.

The new rating system will focus on four areas of quality: classroom and instructional quality; administrative and leadership practices; staff qualifications and professional learning; and family and community engagement. The state will be piloting standards during 2015 to identify the most appropriate indicators to use in the new All STARS rating.

The redesigned rating system was created in partnership with the Governors Office of Early Childhood, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Division of Child Care, and the Kentucky Department of Education.

Revised February 2016

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