The Foundation of Quality Care in Idaho
The IdahoSTARS project promotes the vision that Idaho's children must have access to the highest quality child care and early education.
The IdahoSTARS project is a voluntary program that provides training in child development, education, health, and safety and assessment of child care facilities based on national quality standards. It was established to increase parent’s access to affordable and inclusive child care.
This vision is realized through a Professional Development System (PDS). This system is designed to increase the quality of child care and early education programs by providing opportunities to those who care and teach young children to improve their skills and professional practice.
Idaho AEYC is a proud partner of the IdahoSTARS project with the University of Idaho Center on Disabilities and Human Development (CDHD). This project is funded through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW).
The project has successfully contributed to improving child care and early education in Idaho through the following programs:
The IdahoSTARS project supports families by recruiting and maintaining eligibility of child care providers to the Idaho Child Care Program (ICCP). This helps parents who are eligible for child care tuition assistance to have a choice of available child care facilities. This project also provides child care referrals to families seeking care.
- Information about what quality child care is and what to look for while selecting a child care provider
- Referrals to child care facilities to match the priorities of the family
- Connections to other early care and education organizations
Eligible child care providers and teachers can enroll in the IdahoSTARS project registry to access scholarships for training, program assessment, accreditation, and education, including Academic Scholarships for those seeking college degrees in Early Childhood Education.
- A Professional Development System (PDS) to assist child care provider increase skills and knowledge in early care and education
- Enrollment and registration for the Idaho Child Care Program (ICCP) and assistance with managing their ICCP and state license eligibility requirements
- Updating facility information for consistent referrals to parents searching for child care
- Incentives in the form of improvement and enhancement grants for increasing the quality of their program and cash for increases in education and/or training
Through the IdahoSTARS project, Idaho AEYC, the University of Idaho CDHD, and the Department of Health and Welfare seek to increase public awareness about the importance of quality and how parents can choose quality experiences for young children in all settings from home, to child care, to school.