Child Care Provider Survey about how to tell parents about STARS

23 January 2017

Dear Early Childhood and Afterschool Professional,
As you may remember, in November I reached out to let you know about an effort to research how best to inform parents about STARS, Vermont’s quality recognition system for child care, preschool, and afterschool programs.

Now it’s time to give you an update and invite you to participate! 

Take the survey!

With funding from the Early Learning Challenge Grant, the Vermont-based research and consulting firm Fifth Element Associates is leading the research and planning for a public outreach campaign about STARS targeted at parents. This is a collaborative effort with the Child Development Division.
Fifth Element will conduct research to better understand how parents find information about child care services and make child care choices. The research will also explore parents’ awareness levels and perceptions of STARS.  Once the research phase is completed, Fifth Element will recommend updates to existing STARS materials, such as the STARS brochure, and develop a marketing plan for getting the word out to parents. 

Fifth Element is in the process of recruiting for three regional focus groups. 6-8 parents will be randomly selected in each region to participate in a moderated focus group about parent beliefs and values when it comes to choosing child care. These focus groups will take place in early February.

Starting this week, Fifth Element will be launching a statewide telephone survey of parents. Together, the focus groups and the survey will provide critical information about what Vermont parents think when it comes to child care and STARS.

As an early childhood/afterschool professional, you can also provide critical information about what matters to the parents in your program and if/how you communicate with them about STARS.

Please take a few minutes to complete this 14-question survey as part of our research efforts. It should take 15-20 minutes. Please note that Fifth Element will not share your individual responses or attribute them to you in any way:

Please complete the survey by Tuesday, January 31.

We’re going to hold a half-day workshop on Saturday, March 11 in Randolph, VT to work with the data from the parent and provider surveys, as well as the parent focus groups. We are looking for 10-15 providers to participate with us in reviewing the data from both surveys and understanding what the data means.

If you are interested in participating, contact me, or include your contact information in Question 12 of the survey.

Thank you in advance for your participation. We look forward to sharing the wealth of knowledge gained from this process so that all providers will be able to use those messages, if they choose, to strengthen their marketing communications with families.
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at or 802-793-4405.
Thank you for all you do to support young children and families!
Carolyn Wesley
Project Manager
Early Learning Challenge Grant