Head Start & Early Head Start Programs

Head Start and Early Head Start programs in New York State are required to participate in QUALITYstarsNY, the state’s Quality Rating & Improvement System. This requirement that all Head Start/Early Head Start programs must participate in their state’s QRIS was added in the 2016 revision of the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) and went into effect in 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 1,500 early childhood sites across the state, including more than 350 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 Apply to QUALITYstarsNY

We’ve recently updated our application process to make it easier than ever for program to apply to QUALITYstarsNY! Visit our application page to get started today. Be sure to read the “Before You Get Started” section at the top of the page for key information about how to complete the application process.

Once you’ve applied and the QUALITYstarsNY team has reviewed your application, you’ll either be selected to participate immediately or added to our waitlist—both of which will put you in compliance with Head Start Program Performance Standards.

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.

Information Session Video for Head Start & Early Head Start Programs

Watch our Information Session video for Head Start & Early Head Start programs to learn more about the requirement to join QUALITYstarsNY, how it will benefit your program, and how to get started with the application process.

Want to learn even more about how QUALITYstarsNY? Attend a live, virtual Information Session for additional details about participating.