Providers may apply for STARS recognition in four areas:
- Staff qualifications and training;
- Interaction with and overall support of children, families, and communities;
- How thoroughly providers assess what they do and plan for improvements; and
- The strength of the program’s operating policies and business practices.
One-star programs are programs that have a full license based on the appropriate child care licensing regulations.
Two-star programs (1 - 4 points) are making a commitment to strengthen their practices. They may have made some progress in many areas or more progress in one or two areas.
Three-star programs (5 - 8 points) have made improvements and are working to reach specific goals. They have either made substantial progress in two or three areas or have made some improvements across all five areas.
Four-star programs (9 -11 points) are established programs that have met several standards of quality in all five areas. Many four-star programs are also nationally accredited.
Five-star programs (12-14 points) are outstanding in all five areas. Many five-star programs are also nationally accredited.