Announcing Changes to the Vermont Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS)

12 October 2018

The Child Development Division used Race to the Top, Early Learning Challenge Grant funds to evaluate STARS. As part of that evaluation, child care providers and community partners were surveyed about what is working and what is not working in STARS. The Division also surveyed families to learn about their impressions of STARS.

Using all this information and working with the STARS Evolution and Oversight Committees, the Division is proposing changes to STARS. These changes will happen in two phases:

Phase 1: The division will be proposing changes to the STARS rules to remove the regulatory history component, with a plan to make this effective in the summer of 2019 if the changes are approved in the regulatory review process. This will streamline STARS for most new programs and eliminate an application process to have one star. Please see the timeline for phase 1 here:

Phase 2: The division is using the information gathered in the evaluation and validation study to develop changes to the structure of STARS. During this phase the division will be working with Building Bright Futures to offer meetings across the state to gather feedback on these changes before developing proposed changes to rules. Please see the proposed timeline for phase 2 here:

We recognize changes to STARS will impact regulated childcare programs and want to ensure you have the information you need about this change. We are also looking at how we can support providers through these changes and how to most smoothly make the transitions. To do this we are looking to gather:

  • Your input,
  • Your questions,
  • Supports and information you need in this process

There are several ways that we are collecting that information.

  1. In person meetings: We are collaborating with Regional Building Bright Futures Councils to offer 2 series of in person meetings.  The Fall series will be for you to hear about phase I of changes, and the process we will go through for phase II. Click here for the dates, times and locations.    The spring series will provide more information about the proposed changes to the structure of STARS.  The spring series dates will be announced later.
  2. Surveys: Please submit any questions you have on changes to the STARS changes survey ( and we will add questions and answers to our frequently asked questions on the webpage.
  3. STARS section of the CDD webpage:  We will post updates to the process and answers to frequently asked questions about the evolution of STARS on a webpage:
  4. Facebook Group: The division has created a Facebook group specifically for child care providers in Vermont. We will be posting information and hosting conversations about the STARS change in that group. We invite you to become a member here: