Policy Resource

Oklahoma Reaching for the Stars Program

Feb 9, 2016

Quality Improvement resource information on state policies and initiatives that impact infants, toddlers and their families

Reaching for the Stars is Oklahoma’s quality rating system for child care centers and homes. Participating providers receive a rating of one to three stars in a four-tiered system that reflect levels of quality from meeting minimum licensing requirements (one star) to national accreditation (three stars). Criteria for the One-Star Plus, Two-Star, and Three-Star levels emphasize ongoing education and professional development of staff, daily reading to children, parent involvement, and activity planning. Consultants and Technical Support Specialists (CATSS) are available to assist providers with stars criteria and obtaining educational qualifications, establishing goals to improve quality of care, implementing best practices, and assisting with the accreditation process. Providers with higher star ratings receive higher subsidy reimbursement rates for children in their care. A number of provider education programs in Oklahoma were created to support Reaching for the Stars. These programs include guidance about earning the CDA certification, R.E.W.A.R.D. salary supplements, Early Childhood Scholars For Excellence, and the Accreditation Support Project. The Scholars For Excellence in Child Care (SECC) program administers a variety of scholarships for child care professionals to complete coursework in child development or early childhood education, as well as the Child Development Associate (CDA) and Certified Childcare Professional (CCP) Credential Assessment. SECC, administered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, has also placed Scholar Coordinators at 2-year colleges to recruit and mentor child care providers seeking credentials and degrees in early childhood education required by the Reaching for the Stars program. See Oklahomas Early Care and Education Professional Development Options at https://www.okhighered.org/scholars/docs/prof-dev-options.pdf Updated February 2016.

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