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.

Update January 26, 2022: The application window is now closed for this cohort of the Quality Improvement Specialist Pipeline Project. Please stay tuned for announcements about future cohorts if you wish to apply to participate.

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:

  • 8-week, 22-hour certificate program
  • The Winter/Spring 2022 course will include 8 weekly sessions held on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 – 8:45 PM beginning February 22 and concluding April 12, 2022.
  • 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, Early Childhood Administration and Supervision, or Child Development.
    • At least 6 years of experience in an early childhood leadership position, which can include mentoring and/or early childhood teacher preparation.
  • 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).
  • Priority will be given to candidates interested in applying to be a Quality Improvement Specialist as QUALITYstarsNY rapidly expands across New York State in 2022.

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 your application is Monday, January 24, 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 log in 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.

Course Schedule

February 22 – April 12, 2022 | 8-week, 22-hour certificate program
Conducted virtually via Zoom

Session 1: Tues, Feb. 22 | 6:00 – 8:45 PM
Session 2: Tues, Mar. 1 | 6:00 – 8:45 PM
Session 3: Tues, Mar. 8 | 6:00 – 8:45 PM
Session 4: Tues, Mar. 15 | 6:00 – 8:45 PM
Session 5: Tues, Mar. 22 | 6:00 – 8:45 PM
Session 6: Tues, Mar. 29 | 6:00 – 8:45 PM
Session 7: Tues, Apr. 5 | 6:00 – 8:45 PM
Session 8: Tues, Apr. 12 | 6:00 – 8:45 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.

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. 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.