By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
The U.S. Defense Department picked the Virginia Star Initiative and other state programs that assess child care centers and list their results to help military parents searching for day care facilities. These programs have proved to have far-reaching benefits, improving day care centers nationwide in teaching and quality standards. The Virginia Star Initiative works with Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke, a nonprofit, with the state on the program. The process: Smart Beginnings evaluates an individual child care facility then evaluates the facility. It follows up with training and funding. The facility is then rated by the Virginia Star Initiative. Centers that volunteer for the program are given two additional years of support so they can continue to improve. One star shows the center has exceeded the minimum standards of state licensure and expectations. Five stars in perfect. A four star program, for example, represents a day care center that far exceeds the state minimum in teacher training, class size and classroom environment. Centers are initially hesitant to undergo the evaluation. However, if day care providers learn the benefits of monitoring their day care facilities will improve dramatically. In fact, the day care centers that did undergo the process improved 50%-60% from their initial evaluation.
The U.S. Defense Department picked the Virginia Star Initiative plus a dozen other states in its pilot project. Also, at least 28 states have a quality rating system for day care facilities in the respective states. The goal and focus should not be on the star rating, but to improve the quality of child care centers nationwide. To read more on this topic please see Rating system for child care centers has far-reaching benefits.