The Answer is in the STARS!
As a parent, you want the best possible early learning environment for your child. However, recognizing and defining quality is not always easy. Fortunately, with the continuation of the Quality Improvement System in Sarasota County, called Look for the Stars, recognizing quality just got a whole lot easier!
Providers who achieve a 4 to 5+ star level are providing and maintaining high levels of quality childcare for the children of Sarasota County. Providers who achieve a 3 Star level are recognized for providing quality above state licensing requirements and have demonstrated that they are actively taking steps to improve quality. Sites rated below 3 Stars are not considered high quality at this time.
The Star Ratings are closely aligned with their CLASS assessment composite scores, as the state is requiring all VPK and School Readiness classrooms to be assessed using this tool. We believe that the CLASS tool reflects overall quality childcare by focusing on classroom interactions. Our scale starts at a 3 Star because that is what we consider sufficient quality and reflects the minimum CLASS score of a 4.0 that is needed to contract with the coalition.
Other criteria used when assigning star levels include, learning environment, classroom interactions, screening, assessment and inclusion, staff qualifications, and professional development.
Click a star in the chart below to learn more about each star level.
“Learning Policy Institute researchers ..found that children who attend preschool experience substantial learning gains and are more prepared for school than children who do not attend preschool. The research shows investments in early childhood education bolster student success and have positive impacts on children’s early literacy, math, and, in many cases, social-emotional skills.”
– Untangling the Evidence on Preschool Effectiveness, January 2019
“Evidence shows that children attending a diverse array of state and school district pre-k programs are more ready for school at the end of their pre-k year than children who do not attend pre-k. Improvements in academic areas such as literacy and numeracy are most common; the smaller number of studies of social-emotional and self-regulatory development generally show more modest improvements in those areas.”
– Consensus Statement of the 2017 Pre- Kindergarten Task Force, Brookings Institution: The Current State of Scientific Knowledge of Pre-Kindergarten Effects