New child-care rankings to make it easier for parents to choose early education programs wisely

06/17/2015 04:16 PM

FRANKFORT — Parents of young children will now have another tool to choose the best child-care facility for their children thanks to a new rating system for facilities that will take effect in 2016.

Gov. Steve Beshear signed House Bill 234 on Monday, which expands the STARS for KIDS NOW quality rating system to include almost all early care and education programs so families can more easily make choices based on quality.

The new rating system focuses on instructional quality, staff qualifications, administrative practices and family engagement.

Another intent of the new rating system is to encourage higher levels of instruction, professional development and innovation among providers.

Theresa James, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Community Based Services that oversees the Division of Child Care, says that the rankings will be easily accessible to parents.

“Those will be available in multiple places,” James said. “We want the parents to know that there’s a place to go look. We want to do an education campaign so that the parents know.”

Currently, participation in the new ranking system applies only to child-care and early education programs that receive public funding.

It will be voluntary for private child-care centers and programs, but the expectation is that most of the private programs will choose to participate in the rating system.


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