Policy Resource

New York Raises the Bar on Infant and Toddler Care Program Standards and Incentivizes Quality Improvement

Feb 9, 2016

Field-tested in 2010, New Yorks QUALITYstarsNY is a project of the states Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) and provides program quality standards for each modality of early childhood programs (centers, public schools, and family/home providers).

Currently, more than one-third of programs participating in QUALITYstarsNY serve infants and toddlers. Infant“toddler program standards are a key component of the system and reflect the unique needs of this age group. The infant“toddler program standards address daily interactions and relationships, physical learning environments, developmental screening and assessments, curriculum, children with special needs, environmental safety and physical health, nutrition, and physical activity”all from the developmental perspective of the very youngest children. One example of an infant“toddler standard is as follows: Program promotes the quality and continuity of teacher“child relationships through teacher training, teacher scheduling, and other policies such as ensuring no more than one transition within the child’s first two years.

In addition to the standards, QUALITYstarsNY provides participants with financial supports for quality improvement. Supports typically come in the form of grants, material supplies, and scholarships for staff training and credit-bearing coursework. For instance, PITC trainers provide onsite technical assistance to infant-toddler programs, and scholarships are offered to providers seeking the states infant“toddler credential and the infant-toddler Child Development Associate (CDA). With additional resources coming into the system, QUALITYstarsNY intends to expand financial incentives to help programs bridge the gap between the cost of providing quality care and the fees that they are able to charge families.

Learn more about New Yorks QUALITYstarsNY at http://qualitystarsny.org/

This description of New Yorks work is highlighted in ZERO TO THREE’s publication A Place to Get Started: Innovation in Infant and Toddler State Policies. Read the full brief at http://www.zerotothree.org/public-policy.

Updated February 2016

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