Hear from our Programs

Interested in what providers have to say about their collaboration with QUALITYstarsNY? Current participants share their experiences and insights by providing specific examples about how working with QUALITYstarsNY has improved the quality of their programs and the early learning experiences they offer to children and families.

Esmeralda Mejia

Family Child Care Provider, Mama Rutty’s Daycare, Inc.| Long Island

“My experience with QUALITYstarsNY has been nothing but amazing. When I initially started and met Emily, our Quality Improvement Specialist, I was honestly very nervous and wasn’t sure what to expect. Immediately after my first meeting with Emily, I felt genuinely excited about the program and all of the new things I could learn and or offer in my daycare. I feel that my daycare has improved so much since I started with QUALITYstarsNY. I’ve been introduced to so many resources and information. For example, learning more in depth about child behavioral developments based on age, as well as how to improve my program’s family handbook/policies. Emily has been so helpful and answers any and every question I’ve had along the way while also giving me the best advice and guidance. Overall, I’d say I’ve had a great experience with QUALITYstarsNY and am excited for what the future holds”

Sabine Dalce

On-site Provider, Philippians 2:5 Day Care, Inc. | Long Island, NY

“QUALITYstarsNY is a comprehensive, supportive strength! While the tenet behind which I opened a day care was to ultimately reduce the risk of adverse childhood experiences and give each child the nurturing, healthy and supportive foundation they are deserving of, I realized I could not do it alone. I needed support and QUALITYstarsNY was there. They joined hands with our program and provided needed professional development and appropriate furnishings and related supplies. This has enriched the lives of the children in our care, fostering independence and creativity. ”

Sherry Phillips

President, A Leap In Learning | Hamburg, NY

“We have been part of QUALITYstarsNY for three fantastic years. The support we receive from our Quality Improvement Specialist is nothing short of spectacular! She is our mentor and sometimes it feels like our biggest cheerleader. We are so thankful to be a part of this phenomenal program!”

Patrice Howard

Owner/Director, Toddler Time University | Queensbury, NY

“As a QUALITYstarsNY participant, I have received a personal coach, materials for my child care program and access to tuition paid courses! My Quality Improvement Specialist led me through the process of self-evaluation and helped me realize the areas we together could improve to best benefit the children in my care. I have been operating my family child care for more than 30 years. Finally there is a program willing to improve child care and backing it up financially. The improvements made ranged from courses I’ve always wanted to take (FCCERS), materials needed to identify early intervention, and products and equipment that normally would be out of my financial reach (quality playground equipment). The children in my program are definitely benefitting!

I feel excited about my career again! My whole program has gotten recharged and I’m always excited to work on the next improvement!”

Christine Shantie

Owner, Chris’ Group Family Daycare | Dickenson Center, NY

“QUALITYstarsNY has provided me with education and tools that have greatly improved the way I teach and provide daily care to my daycare children. I live in an area with few resources. QUALITYstarsNY has empowered my daycare staff to provide children with education and life skills that I would not have been able to obtain otherwise. I cannot adequately express how grateful I am to QUALITYstarsNY for what they have provided for myself and the children that attend my daycare.”

Cheris Davis

Owner, Queen City Early Childhood Center | Buffalo, NY

“Start with Stars and QUALITYstarsNY have been a huge help for my program. When I started a new program, I had all these ideas about what the quality should look like but at times it was difficult to figure out where to start. The resources provided to my program through Start with Stars and QUALITYstarsNY have helped me to break things down into manageable steps.

I would definitely recommend that any program—both new and old—that is looking to improve their quality sign up to participate in QUALITYstarsNY. Thank you QUALITYstarsNY!”

Erica M. Perez

Owner/Director, Victoria’s Castle Daycare | New Windsor, NY

“I’d like to share our appreciation for our Quality Improvement Specialist, Beth Mindes. Her continued moral support and professionalism has impressed our entire team immensely. We consider ourselves honored to have Beth as our mentor. With her help, we’ve been able to acquire developmentally appropriate toys for our students with special needs and improve our infant classroom. Her devoted eye for detail has greatly helped us revamp our classrooms. Thank you for everything you’re doing for us, Beth and QUALITYstarsNY!”

Jackie Prather

Director, Plattsburgh YMCA Bright Beginnings | Plattsburgh, NY

“QUALITYstarsNY is just amazing! In 2012 we were so excited to be participants in this program that was designed to offer resources to enhance early childhood programs. It then became our ‘everything’, in the way we conduct our program. QUALITYstarsNY is our culture for early learning programs because it provides us with Standards and opportunities to maintain a quality facility.

The impact on our program is tremendous. We are provided training which helps the teachers and teachers’ assistants to implement a curriculum and environment that supports the children’s growth and learning development. QUALITYstarsNY made it possible to purchase items to support our curriculum as well as items for our classrooms. We did not have the means to do this on our own. Some of our teachers’ assistants earned their CDA due to this wonderful project.

I could go on and on about QUALITYstarsNY and how important it is to early childhood programs, but please allow me to say the Quality Improvement Specialists are so amazing! Their knowledge, patience, empathy and love for early childhood and QUALITYstarsNY definitely makes the agency a success. QUALITYstarsNY, thank you for all that you do!”

Getty Njoku

Family Child Care Provider, Island Sunshines | Long Island, NY

“I must confess that this program has empowered me beyond my expectations. As a home-based day care operator, I had no kind of support from anyone. QUALITYstarsNY has given me the leverage to see myself not only as a professional who is knowledgeable in providing care to children while parents are at work, but as a competitive educator with well-trained employees through the numerous resources they offer. Without this support system, I would be lost with all the children in my care. ”

Rose Blanchard

Director, Lil Early Childhood and Enrichment Program | Saranac Lake, NY

“QUALITYstarsNY truly exemplifies how programs from various walks with various needs can have equal access to resources that are specifically designed to meet their individual goals for quality improvement. The resources are especially vital because they ‘level the playing field’, so to speak, in early childhood education–ensuring that children from diverse communities around the North Country with varying access to local resources are insured access to high quality programming.

In our case, we have always shared the vision of QUALITYstarsNY for providing the highest quality programming for young children, but we initially lacked the resources to provide a fully-equipped learning environment and more focused training topics for our program. It has been through our participation in QUALITYstarsNY over the past few years that we have been able to create a more intuitive classroom learning environment and extensively-trained, long-standing teaching staff, which have significantly improved our ability to provide the highest quality care and programming for our community.”

Lisa Chambers

Family Child Care Provider, Lisa’s Learn And Play, Inc | Buffalo, NY

“I am proud to have participated in Start with Stars and transitioned into QUALITYstarsNY. The support of my Quality Improvement Specialist and access to high quality materials helped me to create my beautiful infant center/area!

Through QUALITYstarsNY, my program has also worked with a coaching team that provides professional support and educational tools that will continue to benefit the children I serve both now and in the future. I’m grateful to continue my participation in this wonderful program.”

Kendra Miller

Director, Chazy Afterschool Program Preschool | Chazy, NY

“The Chazy Afterschool Program has been fortunate to be part of QUALITYstarsNY since 2017. QUALITYstarsNY helps our program with funding for training opportunities, including funding for one of our teaching assistants to get her CDA. We have also been able to get a beautiful sandbox, height appropriate chairs for the variety of preschooler sizes, and a ‘cozy nook’ for our classroom using QUALITYstarsNY funds. These items have helped to enrich the education and experiences that CASP provides to the children in our care.  The Quality Improvement Specialists are knowledgeable resources that not only answer questions and give insight when it is needed, but they have been able to offer new suggestions and approaches, and help to ensure that our program not only meets Quality Standards, but exceeds them.”

Nancy Johnson

Director, YWCA of Schenectady | Schenectady, NY

Of all the programs we participate in, QUALITYstarsNY is one of my favorites. It’s the one I talk first about. So why I do love QUALITYstarsNY? It’s the connections the program has for me:

  • The Standards are meaningful. It’s not just a bunch of things to do, there is reason behind it. It’s where I want us to be as professional educators.
  • I adore my Quality Improvement Specialist. She gets me—she understands where I am coming from and is always reassuring. She is a bonus to QUALITYstarsNY and our centers.
  • It’s the ability QUALITYstarsNY has had over the many years to adapt, work with us, and change to meet a common goal.
  • It’s the purpose of QUALITYstarsNY. QUALITYstarsNY takes early care seriously as a profession.
  • It’s the connection the teachers have with QUALITYstarsNY—they know they need to keep up with The Aspire Registry to be professional, they know our Specialist, they know the expectations. It’s team work for us.
  • It’s the opportunity for professional development for the team. QUALITYstarsNY offers so many trainings, workshops, and conferences.
  • It’s the commitment QUALITYstarsNY has made to us, to me and to my team.

It’s wonderful to have a 5-Star rating, but it’s the journey that was the benefit. The stars are the bonus. I have watched our team grow, both as teachers and administrators. We will continue with QUALITYstarsNY as long as New York provides this amazing program.