Quality Standards

A Framework for High Quality Early Care and Education

QUALITYstarsNY Standards represent the best practices and policies in early childhood care and education. Developed by leading experts in the field of early childhood learning and development from across the state and then validated by research, QUALITYstarsNY Standards are used to assess and rate the quality of an early childhood program.

Programs earn points toward their rating for meeting these key quality indicators, and receive a 1-5 Star rating. A rating of 4 and 5 Stars indicates a high quality early care and education program.

Sets of Standards

The elements of a high quality program can differ based on the setting of the early childhood program. QUALITYstarsNY has developed three sets of Standards for center-based programs, public school-based programs, and family child care to reflect quality in each setting.

Center-Based Program Standards
Public School Program Standards
Family Child Care Standards

COVID-19 Updated: QUALITYstarsNY has added an addendum to our Program Standards in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These current downloadable Standards Documents reflect the temporary updates we’ve made to evidence requirements for some Standards that will be in effect through December 31, 2021.

In addition to the three sets of standards currently in use, a draft of the School-Age Program Standards is available for download.

We’ve also developed online, Interactive Standards that provides quick access to the Standards and additional information and resources to help enrich program understanding of the Standards and how to meet them.

Interactive Standards

Abbreviated Standards

Additionally, programs that already comply with a set of high quality requirements through Head Start or either NAEYC or NAFCC Accreditation have an abbreviated set of Standards that takes into account the complimentary nature of  these requirements and the QUALITYstarsNY Standards.

Download the Standards in Spanish

Center-Based Program Standards
Family Child Care Program Standards

Four Key Areas of Quality

QUALITYstarsNY assesses four key areas that work together to create a high quality early childhood program where children, families, and providers can thrive.

Learn More

Find the Right Program

Download our checklist for parents to spot high quality practices when looking for a care and education program for your child.

Standards Inventory Guide & FAQ

Our user guide and FAQ is designed to help our participants complete their Standards Inventory as part of the Rating Process.  The FAQ has been updated with a section specifically addressing questions related to the Standards Inventory process during the COVID-19 pandemic.