About Us

QUALITYstarsNY is New York State’s voluntary 5-Star Quality Rating and Improvement System for early childhood programs. Since its inception, QUALITYstarsNY has focused its evidence-based practices to ensure:

young children in participating programs have access to excellence and,

their families can trust the level of quality in the programs they choose.

Early childhood stakeholders and experts have worked with QUALITYstarsNY to develop evidence-based Standards representing high quality program practices that fall into four categories: Learning Environment, Family Engagement, Leadership & Management, and Staff Qualifications & Experience. These Standards serve as the basis for the QUALITYstarsNY rating process.

Currently QUALITYstarsNY operates in all 10 economic regions across the state and supports more than 800 early childhood programs serving low income families in high-need communities. All regulated early childhood programs are eligible to participate, including center-based child care and Pre-K programs, school-based Pre-K programs, family/group family child care, and Head Start/Early Head Start programs.

QUALITYstarsNY operates an extensive and comprehensive data system that tracks every investment in money, time, and effort to ensure accountability and provide a greater understanding of what it takes to generate and sustain high quality early childhood education for young children.

How We Help Early Childhood Programs Improve their Quality

QUALITYstarsNY utilizes Quality Improvement Specialists (QI Specialists) with expertise in early childhood education and program administration to provide guidance and direction to early childhood programs and providers through the QUALITYstarsNY Quality Improvement Planning process. When a program joins QUALITYstarsNY, they are partnered with a QI Specialist who provides individualized support throughout every aspect of the work.

Classroom materials and furnishings, professional development opportunities, assessment, and a wide range of resources are made available to all QUALITYstarsNY participants to help programs earn higher star ratings and sustain high quality over time.

QUALITYstarsNY Coordination

QUALITYstarsNY is New York State’s Quality Rating and Improvement System for early childhood. QUALITYstarsNY is a project of the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC), whose mission is to provide strategic direction and advice to the State of New York on early childhood issues. By monitoring and guiding the implementation of a range of strategies, including QUALITYstarsNY, the ECAC supports New York in building a comprehensive and sustainable early childhood system that envisions success for all New York’s youngest citizens.

QUALITYstarsNY is coordinated by The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute (Institute) within the City University of New York (CUNY). The Institute manages the QUALITYstasNY Central Office, statewide staff, and subcontractors that contribute to the various project processes including assessment, ratings, and quality improvement. The QUALITYstarsNY Central Office is located in New York City and nearly 30 Quality Improvement Specialists reside across the state.

Our Funding

QUALITYstarsNY is funded with a combination of federal, state, and private funds. New York State supports QUALITYstarsNY with funding each year in the NYS budget. QUALITYstarsNY is also supported by the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five federal grant, which was first received by New York State in 2019 with a first year allocation of $1.4 million to QUALITYstarsNY. New York’s Office of Children and Family Services supports the professional development efforts of QUALITYstarsNY programs.

QUALITYstarsNY also receives funding through private philanthropy. Our current funders include The Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation, The Cummins Foundation, and the Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance. We thank our previous funders, including, the ECAC, the Rauch Foundation, the Western New York Women’s Foundation, The Capital District Child Care Council and United Way, and the Staten Island Foundation, all of which provided support to build QUALITYstarsNY in communities across the state.