Using a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) program model developed by a statewide consortium of early childhood education representatives, Kern is now able to bring training and resources to teachers and directors working in child development programs as well as family child care providers throughout Kern County.
Previously only available to State-funded programs, in January 2016 the Kern County Early Stars program was awarded funds to include early childhood education programs including Head Start, private child development centers and family child care providers. This new funding is available until June 2020 and will allow the Kern County Early Stars program to reach out and include all interested providers to help enhance the quality of services being provided to infants, toddlers and preschoolers throughout Kern’s communities.
The foundation of the Kern Early Stars program is based on
Through this new program, “Hubs” will be created in many areas of the county to allow easier access for providers to obtain training and encourage networking and collaboration. In addition to the training and resources offered, the Kern Early Stars program includes educational, professional development and material incentives. Programs enrolled in the Kern Early Stars program have the opportunity to work with coaches to understand their strengths and develop techniques to provide better care for the children they are entrusted with. They receive tips and learning materials to help improve their physical environments and enhance curriculum. Programs can also be linked to local experts in early childhood, mental health and those supporting children with special needs. Sites/providers entering the Rating component of the KES may also be eligible for reimbursement for some college coursework in early childhood.
Kern Early Stars will come along side of programs and providers to help support them in what they do best, helping prepare children for success in kindergarten and beyond.
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:
Kern Early Stars staff members have experience working in private and funded child development centers or family child care programs so they understand the daily joys and challenges you experience while providing the best possible care to the children entrusted to you each day. This perspective has enabled us to place emphasis on the areas that providers often deal with such as challenging behaviors, social emotional development, indoor/outdoor environments, and child-provider interactions.
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.
August 16 – Kern Early Stars Training Process Oriented Creative Art Experiences for Preschoolers – Immanuel Christian Child Development Center 1201 N. China Lake Blvd. Ridgecrest To Register Please click here – http://kern.k12oms.org/2040-117871
Letter to Parents – This is a document you can use to explain what the Kern Early Stars Program is and what participation in the program means for you.