Learn about the ways to improve, maintain and communicate the quality of your program.

Many states have a Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS). Delaware’s system is called Delaware Stars for Early Success (DE Stars).
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What is Delaware Stars for Early Success?

Delaware Stars for Early Success is a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS).  This voluntary program is used to measure, improve and communicate the level of quality in early care and education and school-age settings. Participating programs are awarded up to 5 Stars. (Currently on hold and being restructured).

What do the number of Stars mean?

Ratings for Delaware Stars are based on successful verification that the program meets high-quality standards in four areas:

  • Family and Community Partnerships,
  • Qualifications and Professional Development,
  • Management and Administration,
  • Learning Environment and Curriculum (this includes a formal assessment of classrooms in each age group using the Environment Rating Scales or ERS. The ERS is an internationally recognized valid and reliable observational tool used in research and evaluation).

The chart below compares the basic requirements of each Star Level.

Star LevelLicensing Statuswdt_IDQuality Improvement PlanQuality Standard PointsEssential StandardsERS Score
Starting with Stars (1)Good Standing1Writing Initial PlanNANANA
Star Level 2Good Standing2Editing and Implementing PlanNANANA
Star Level 3Good Standing3Editing and Implementing Plan40-59NA3.4
Star Level 4Good Standing4Editing and Implementing Plan60-79Developmental Screenings, Formative Assessments, Curriculum Planning, Staff Training4.4
Star Level 5Good Standing5Implementing Plan80-100Developmental Screenings, Formative Assessments, Curriculum Planning, Staff Training5.4

Alternative Pathways

  • Programs accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) are designated Star Level 5 once accepted into Delaware Stars due to the difficulty of obtaining and maintaining this accreditation.
  • Head Start programs and state-funded Early Childhood Assistance Programs (ECAP) are designated Star Level 4 once accepted into Delaware Stars due to monitoring of federal and state performance standards. In order to advance to a Star Level 5, these programs must score a minimum of 5.4 on each ERS classroom assessment.

Tiered Reimbursement Program

Tiered Reimbursement Program is a separate payment made monthly by the Delaware Department of Education (DOE) to Delaware Stars providers with a level of 3, 4 or 5 who accept POC.  The reimbursement rate is determined by the type of program, county, children’s age, and the Delaware Star level.

Accreditation is another way a child care provider communicates the quality of their program. In order to become accredited by an agency child care providers are evaluated according to the agency’s set of rules. Some child care providers in Delaware are accredited by the following agencies. Visit their websites for more information on the rules and process for becoming accredited.

My Child DE is a user-friendly website that brings together resources to help families, providers and other caretakers make informed choices for the children of Delaware. The goal of My Child DE is to help these groups feel welcome, informed and empowered to engage, learn and take the next steps needed to support children.