Policy Resource

Look for the STARS Quality Rating System

Feb 9, 2016

"Look for the STARS" is a five-level quality rating improvement system (QRIS) designed by New Mexicos Office of Child Development under the Child, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) to help parents identify quality child care programs.

Eight regional Training and Technical Assistance Programs are located throughout the state, and provide a myriad of training opportunities to early care and education staff, parents and interested community members. Program staff provide on-site consultation through the AIM HIGH quality improvement initiative for programs wanting to improve their quality and attain a higher star level. The staff also work closely with child care licensing staff to determine the quality of licensed child care programs statewide in order to assign the appropriate number of stars toward the programs license.

Licensed Child Care centers and licensed family Child Care homes are required to meet basic licensing regulations to receive a 1-STAR license through the Children, Youth and Families Department.

For additional STARS, programs are required to meet higher quality standards in the following areas: staff training and education/learning activities; environment/family involvement; ratios and group size assessment.

As a program’s STAR level increases, reimbursement for children receiving subsidies from Child Care Assistance increases. A 5-STAR license means that the program is nationally accredited. Updated February 2016.

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