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Overview
How Points are Earned
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Star Rated License FAQs

Line Image How Points are Earned Line Image

When you apply for a star rated license a child care consultant will visit your program and evaluate each of the two quality components as well as the quality point option that may be selected by your program.


You will receive one point for meeting minimum requirements. To earn more than one point, you will have to meet higher voluntary standards. A summary of those standards is listed below:


1. Program Standards

    Child Care Centers:

    Must meet one or more of the following based on the number of points for which you are applying:

    • Have completing operating and personnel policies
    • Increase the number of activity areas in classrooms
    • Higher square footage per classroom
    • Reducing staff child ratios
    • Have good or specified scores from an environment rating scale assessment

    Family Child Care Homes:

    Must meet one or more of the following based on the number of points for which you are applying:

    • Have completed operational and personnel policies
    • Good or specified scores from an environment rating scale
    • Reduce the number of infants you enroll

    Environmental Rating Scales (ERS)

    Scores on the ERS significantly impact the number of points a program can receive in the program component of the Star Rated License assessment. To earn three to seven points, programs must score between 4.0 and 5.0 for each group assessed. Programs can achieve higher scores on the ERS through preparation and practice. To prepare for the Rated License Assessment go to the North Carolina Rated License Assessment Project web page. The NCRLAP website will provide answers to common questions about the scales including “How should I prepare for the visit?” and “What should I expect the day of the assessment?”. Some programs choose to practice for the assessment by conducting a mock assessment to discover areas of strength and areas of needed improvement.


2. Education Standards:

    Child Care Centers:

    The number of points you earn in education standards is based on the education level of all of your staff. The Division's staff will evaluate transcripts to determine the number of semester hours that can be counted towards the higher levels in this component.


    To earn more than one point:

    • The administrator and all lead teachers must have completed their credential requirements
    • A certain percentage of staff must have extra semester hours and/or child care experience

    You will earn more points if more staff have completed early childhood coursework and have more experience working with children. For example, at the highest level in Education Standards, five points are earned if:

    • The administrator has a Level III NC Administration Credential or equivalent, and experience
    • 75% of lead teachers have at least an associate's degree in Early Childhood and experience
    • 50% of teachers have completed their NC Early Childhood Credential or equivalent, and have additional coursework as well as experience
    • School age staff have completed school age coursework, Basic School Age Training, and have experience working with school age children

    Family Child Care Homes:

    The number of points you earn in education standards is based on education coursework that you have completed, as well as your child care experience. The Division's staff will evaluate your transcripts to determine the number of semester hours that can be counted towards the higher levels in this component. At the highest point level you will need to have completed at least an associate's degree in Early Childhood, and have experience working with children.


Quality Point:


    Child care operators may choose to meet additional education or programmatic criteria to earn one (1) Quality Point. This Quality Point will be added to the total points earned in program standards and staff education to determine the total number of stars earned.


    Listed below are examples of the Quality Point options. The full text of the Child Care Requirements related to the Quality Point is found in .2823.


    Examples of Education Options:

    • 75% of center infant/toddler teachers have obtained an Infant/Toddler Certificate
    • All lead teachers and 75% teachers have completed an A.A.S. or higher in early childhood education/child development
    • 75% of group leaders have obtained a NC School Age Care Credential
    • A family child care home provider has obtained an Infant/Toddler Certificate or has a BS/BA or higher in early childhood education/child development
    • 20 additional annual in-service training hours for all center staff and home providers are completed

    Examples of Programmatic Options:

    • Use of age/developmentally appropriate curriculum that addresses five domains of child development
      • Find the list of approved curricula and the criteria used for cirriculum approval here.
    • Smaller group sizes in centers
    • Reduced staff/child ratios in centers
    • Licensed capacity reduced to four preschool children in a family child care home
    • Business training course completed for a family child care home provider

How Do Points Determine Star Ratings?

This table shows the breakdown for the number of stars a program can receive based on the total points earned in each of the two components described above.


Number of Stars Received Total Points Earned
Star Image 1 - 3 Points
Star Image Star Image 4 - 6 Points
Star Image Star Image Star Image 7 - 9 Points
Star Image Star Image Star Image Star Image 10 - 12 Points
Star Image Star Image Star Image Star Image Star Image 13 - 15 Points


Three Star Example

A program scores 4 points in program standards and 4 points in education standards, and 1 quality point. The total is 4 + 4 + 1 = 9 points. The program would get a three-star rating under the two component system.


Example
Program Standards 4 Points
Education Standards 4 Points
Quality Point 1 Points
Total Score 9 Points
Star Score Star Image Star Image Star Image


If you would like more information, refer to the complete rule text for the star rated license requirements. You may also want to click on the charts below to see the program and education requirements at each point level

Child care centers with preschool only

Child care centers with preschool and school-age

Child care centers with school-age only

Child care centers in a residence

Family child care homes



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