Vermont STARS Validation Study Key Findings

Research BriefEarly ChildhoodOct 15 2018

Vermont’s STep Ahead Recognition System (STARS) is the state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). STARS was developed in 2003 and provides a quality framework for licensed and registered child care centers and preschools, family child care homes, and school-age programs. Vermont STARS awards points of recognition for program practices in five arenas of quality: Regulatory History; Staff Qualifications and Professional Development; Families and Community; Program Practices; and Administration.

As a recipient of the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC), Vermont is committed to evaluating STARS as part of an ongoing process of continuous quality improvement. Child Trends, in partnership with the state of Vermont, conducted validation and evaluation studies of STARS from 2015-2017. The validation study measures the extent to which quality ratings assigned in STARS are meaningful and accurate. The evaluation study gathers feedback about how well the rating system is working for providers and other key stakeholders. This brief summarizes findings from the validation study.