The markers and standards of a high-quality early childhood classroom include educational materials, facilities, health practices, and staff professionalism, among others. Additionally, the size and cleanliness of the play and activity space, the amount of staff per kid, and children’s interactions with staff play an essential role (Primary Beginnings, n.d.). Many states implement quality rating systems for their programs because program quality is crucial for child development. According to research, superior quality has a favorable influence on children’s cognitive, interpersonal, psychological, and physical aspects, whereas low quality has a negative impact (NC Child Care Resource & Referral Council, 2018). Thus, positive experiences and activities are essential for children’s growth. The more time they spend learning and playing in a secure and comfortable environment, their long-term developmental and behavioral patterns are better.
North Carolina’s preschool quality rating system is based on a star-rated license. Notably, the Division of Child Development and Early Education granted star ratings to child care facilities and family child care homes that met all minimal child care criteria and those who chose to reach higher standards (NCDHHS, n.d.). Currently, facilities are assessed based on two factors: staff education and program standards. Furthermore, programs with a two-component license might earn a “quality point” for fulfilling improved staff education and program criteria.
A one-star rating indicates that a program fulfills the minimal licensing standards. A program with two to five stars has voluntarily accomplished increasingly higher requirements in staff education and program quality (NC Child Care Resource & Referral Council, 2018). First, staff education indicates a program’s staff’s education and experience, which has a beneficial influence on program quality. Second, program standards analyze child/adult relations, educational materials and indoor/outdoor equipment provided for children, indoor/outdoor space per kid, and staff-to-child ratios. The 5-star licensing system correctly represents a child care center’s overall excellence. To conclude, families may remain confident that there are significant program distinctions between facilities with a 3-star, 4-star, or 5-star accreditation.
NC Child Care Resource & Referral Council (2018). Child care in North Carolina. CCR&R Council. Web.
NCDHHS. (n.d.). Star rated license. NC Department of Health and Human Services. Web.
Primary Beginnings (n.d.). 5-Star child care and preschool in Raleigh. Primary Beginnings Child Development Centers. Web.