Head Start Programs

Head Start and Early Head Start programs in New York State have until September 30, 2021 to participate in QUALITYstarsNY, the state’s Quality Rating & Improvement System.

In the 2016 revision of the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS), the Office of Head Start (OHS) added the requirement that all Head Start/Early Head Start Programs, with limited exception, must participate in their state’s QRIS. After several extensions, OHS has set the final deadline to comply with this requirement for September 30, 2021. Please keep in mind that this is an unfunded mandate. QUALITYstarsNY has worked with the Head Start Collaboration Office to provide instructions on how to meet the new requirement in the most efficient way possible.

As New York State’s QRIS, QUALITYstarsNY supports nearly 900 early childhood sites across the state, including more than 250 Head Start/Early Head Start sites. QUALITYstarsNY is embarking on a period of growth thanks to federal stimulus funding invested in New York’s early childhood system. We will be able to serve many more programs within the next few years.  Until we are able to select your program to participate, joining the QUALITYstarsNY waitlist is sufficient to meet the HSPPS requirement for programs to join their state QRIS.


How to Document Compliance with the HSPPS QRIS Requirement

If your programs is participating in QUALITYstarsNY

Print or save a PDF copy of the email you received when your program was selected to participate in QUALITYstarsNY and assigned a Quality Improvement Specialist. The subject of the email is “Action required: Your program has been selected to participate in QUALITYstarsNY!” Alternatively, you may print out your Rating Certificate, which you can download from your QUALITYstarsNY Profile if your program has already received an Active Rating.

If your program is on the QUALITYstarsNY waitlist

Once our staff has reviewed your application, your program will either be selected to participate or placed on our waitlist until additional resources become available in your area. If placed on the waitlist, you will receive an email with the subject line “You have been added to the QUALITYstarsNY waitlist”. Print or save a PDF copy of this email to serve as documentation of compliance with the QRIS requirement. You will be notified via email when your program is selected from the waitlist to begin your participation in QUALITYstarsNY.

How to Apply to QUALITYstarsNY

If you haven’t already, start the QUALITYstarsNY application process as soon as possible to ensure you will be selected or added to the QUALITYstarsNY waitlist by the September 30, 2021 compliance deadline.

  1. Join The Aspire Registry and create an Organization Profile for your program. In order to apply and participate in QUALITYstarsNY, you must have an Organization Profile in The Aspire Registry for New York’s early childhood workforce. You can learn about how to create your Organization Profile by visiting The Aspire Registry Help Center.
  2. Complete the QUALITYstarsNY Program Interest Form. Once you have an Organization Profile, complete our online program interest form to get started with the QUALITYstarsNY application process. After our staff reviews your interest form, you will receive a follow up email with your next steps to access and complete the QUALITYstarsNY application.
  3. Complete and Submit the QUALITYstarsNY application. After your interest form has been reviewed, follow the instructions you receive via email or click “Log In” on qualitystarsny.org to access your QUALITYstarsNY Profile. From your QUALITYstarsNY Profile, click the “Apply” tab to complete the application.

Want to learn more about how QUALITYstarsNY provides comprehensive support and resources to early childhood programs at no cost to participants? Attend a virtual Information Session for more information.

Information Sessions