YoungStar: Rating Types

Programs participating in YoungStar have some input into the type of rating they receive. The rating type will affect the Star rating a program can achieve. Programs can be rated on a scale of 1-5 Stars, with 5 reflecting higher measures of quality practices have been achieved.

Star ratings are achieved through accumulation of points earned in four specific categories YoungStar uses to measure quality practices. The four categories are: Education; Learning Environment and Curriculum; Professional and Business Practices; and Health and Wellness. Each Star level has identified minimal indicators in each category that must be met in order to achieve that star rating.

The first opportunity a program has to determine the rating type is when submitting the YoungStar application. The program indicates then whether they want an automated or an on-site rating. The on-site rating includes the services of a YoungStar staff, the technical consultant, to visit the program.

For the majority of programs*, choosing an Automated Rating means the program is stating they are meeting DCF Regulation guidelines. This will result in a 2 Star rating. Access to the technical consultant services are not available. This also means the program does not have access to the micro-grant.

*Programs that have received accreditation from recognized professional institutions may also select an automated rating. Accredited programs will be rated at a 4 or 5 Star rating. Accredited programs can get more information form their YoungStar consultant or their local YoungStar office.

Programs that select having a YoungStar staff visit the program do have access to technical consulting services. This includes access to the technical consultant, micro-grant, and professional development services. Programs can then identify the on-site rating type they want. There are two on-site rating types: a Technical Rating and a Formal Rating. The technical consultant will work with the program to verify that minimum quality indicators in each category are met when selecting the type of on-site rating to be completed.

  • Technical Rating: the technical consultant may complete a program observation to confirm that minimum indicators are met in the four YoungStar categories. This can result in programs earning a 2 or 3 Star rating.
  • Formal Rating: the technical consultant will complete a program observation to verify that minimum indicators are met in the four YoungStar categories to achieve a 4 or 5 Star rating. The consultant will then request that a Formal Rater complete an on-site observation with a formal observation tool. This tool, the Environment Rating Scales, is a reliable tool that measures indicators of quality practices in specific child care settings. The formal rater will select the tool appropriate for each program setting. A formal rating can result in a 3, 4, or 5 Star rating.