UPDATE June, 6, 2021: Participants for cohort 2 of the Quality Improvement Specialist Pipeline Project have been chosen. Thank you to all those who applied. Stay tuned for announcements about future cohorts if you are interested in applying to participate.

22-Hour Certificate Program for Early Childhood Leaders

In partnership with the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, QUALITYstarsNY is offering a 22-hour certificate program for experienced early childhood leaders interested in learning the skills to advance their career, deepen their understanding of high quality early childhood education practices, and position themselves for success as a Quality Improvement Specialist candidate.

After the success of our first cohort, QUALITYstarsNY is now accepting applications for cohort two of the Quality Improvement Specialist Pipeline Project!  The deadline to apply for cohort 2 is Sunday, May 23 at 11:59 PM ET.

Learn the Skills to Become a Quality Improvement Specialist with QUALITYstarsNY

QUALITYstarsNY utilizes Quality Improvement Specialists (QI Specialists) in every region across the state to provide individualized guidance and direction to early childhood programs throughout their participation in QUALITYstarsNY. QI Specialists partner with program leaders to help them implement high quality practices to make their program the best it can be for the staff, children and families they serve.

Certificate Program Details:

  • 6-week, 22-hour certificate program.
  • Course will include 8 sessions beginning Wednesday, June 16, and concluding Saturday, July 24.
  • No cost to participate & participants will receive a $500 stipend upon completion of the program.


  • Applicants must have:
    • A Master’s degree in early childhood education or a related field.
    • At least 6 years of experience in an early childhood leadership position.
  • People of color and other diversities are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants must be able to attend all course sessions and complete required reading and assignments (approx. 1 hour of prep work per session).

How to Apply

  • Review the course schedule below to confirm your availability before applying.
  • Complete the online application (should take approx. 30 minutes to complete). The deadline to submit the application is Sunday, May 23 at 11:59 PM ET.
  • You will be required to upload your resume as part of the application process.
  • To verify your education and professional experience, you will need to upload your Professional Development Report from The Aspire Registry. To access your Professional Development Report, please login to your Aspire profile and click on the “My Aspire Resources” tab to download and save the report PDF. To update your profile or join The Aspire Registry, please visit nyworksforchildren.org.

May 24 Update: The application window has closed for this cohort of the Quality Improvement Specialist Pipeline Project.

Course Schedule

June 16 – July 24, 2021 | 6-week, 22-hour certificate program
Conducted virtually via Zoom

Session 1: Weds, June 16 | 5:30 – 9:00 PM
Session 2: Weds, June 23 | 6:00 – 8:30 PM
Session 3: Weds, June 30 | 6:00 – 8:30 PM
Session 4: Weds, July 7 | 6:00 – 8:30 PM
Session 5: Mon, July 12 | 6:00 – 8:30 PM
Session 6: Weds, July 14 | 6:00 – 8:30 PM
Session 7: Weds, July 21 | 6:00 – 8:30 PM
Session 8: Sat, July 24 | 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

More Information


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 that young children in participating programs have access to excellence, and their families can trust the level of quality in the programs they choose.

Our Quality Improvement Specialists

QUALITYstarsNY’s QI Specialists work in every region across the state with our participating early childhood programs to provide individualized guidance for the quality improvement planning process. Our QI Specialists are the essence of QUALITYstarsNY and form meaningful relationships with site-based leadership and staff to help them realize their program aspirations.

Completion of the certificate program does not guarantee the participant will be hired for a QI Specialist position with QUALITYstarsNY. This project is designed to help early childhood leaders build their professional skills and knowledge and position themselves as competitive candidates for a QI Specialist position as QUALITYstarsNY continues to grow across the state.