Kentucky Child Care Ratings System Expanding
A new resource promises to help Kentucky parents sort through the long list of childcare options available in their communities. Monday, Gov. Steve Beshear ceremonially signed House Bill 234, a measure instituting a new five-star rating system for local childcare, Head Start, and school-based Pre-K programs.
The governor says the system, dubbed Kentucky All STARS, will not only guide parents to the best services, but also spotlight the programs with less-than-stellar track records.
"Parents deserve to be able to look at the different childcare facilities that they want to put their kids in and understand how good they are," Beshear says. "And we'll rate them on a number of different factors, and this also helps them to become better childcare facilities."
According to the most recent Kentucky kindergarten readiness screening, fully half of the state’s children are not completely prepared for school on day one – and officials hope the new rating system will steer more parents toward early learning programs.
Right now, only licensed child care services take part in the All STARS system. The legislation passed during the 2015 session expands it to include all school-based and private programs receiving public funding.
All STARS ratings will be based on instructional quality, administrative practices, staff qualifications, and family and community engagement.