Numerous studies show that when children receive high quality care and education during their first five years of life, they are more ready for school, they are better readers, and they are more likely to graduate from high school. This is a fundamental reason for the Kern Early Stars program being created and implemented in our county. The Kern Early Stars program is a quality rating and improvement system designed to help providers a long a continuous pathway of quality improvement in the following areas:
It can seem very overwhelming to choose the best child care option for your infant, toddler, or preschooler. The best way to determine where you feel your child would have the most success is to visit the centers or family child care providers you are interested in. How will you know if the center or home care environment you choose is using quality care practices? Here are few things to look for:
A safe, warm and welcoming environment;
An informational booklet on different options for child care, as well as a check list and questionnaire to use are available at: Child Care Choices
Information on choosing a licensed child care center or family home daycare can also be found at http://www.ccld.ca.gov/PG524.htm . A list of Kern Early Stars Rated sites can be found on the (?) page of this website. ( a tab will be created that list our programs who have been rated)
Centers and family child care providers will voluntarily participate with training and resources to help them enhance the quality of their program. Some sites will eventually reach the point of participating with a “Rating” process in which they can obtain points in specific areas of quality. The areas of quality include:
Stars are awarded to a program based on point values in each of these areas. Along with the star rating, the program will also receive a report card. Just like a report card given in school breaks down a child’s achievements in individual classes, the Kern Early Stars report card will show how a program scored in each individual element. This report card gives the program a way to share with families the areas they excel in, as well as the areas they are continuing to strengthen. Participating providers set goals and have the opportunity to earn more stars based on a new rating that will take place every other year.
As the awareness of the Kern Early Stars program grows, parents will begin to understand what to look for when seeking a high quality program for their young children. They will know to look for programs/providers who are participating with a QRIS knowing that these providers are committed to continuous quality improvement. The extra benefit of having a “Star Rating” will give programs/providers a boost of “advertisement” as a result of their participation.
Low-cost or free child care – If you are in need of child care so that you can work or go to school, or for your child to benefit from attending preschool but cannot afford to pay for it, there options that may be available to you. To learn more about these options you may: