Launched in 2007, Delaware Stars is the state’s quality rating improvement system for child care providers. It is managed by the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood (DIEEC).
Why is Delaware Stars important?
It is now common knowledge that the quality of childcare has a significant influence on the development and success of a child well into adulthood. Young children who attended higher quality care programs had better language development, problem solving, and social skills. They are also more likely to graduate and earn more over the course of their career.
The purpose of implementing Delaware Stars is to help families make informed decisions during their search for childcare by having access to information about program quality. The bigger goal for this quality rating system is to help raise the overall quality of care in Delaware. This is achieved by providing participating childcare providers with incentives to improve on their current quality rating. Delaware Stars seeks to increase the percent of low-income children with access to quality-rated childcare programs from 20% to 80%.
What are Delaware Stars’ requirements?
Childcare programs can earn from one to five stars in the rating system. During the assessment, programs earn points toward a star rating based on 4 areas:
- Learning Environment & Curriculum – Providing effective and developmentally appropriate learning environments as well as positive teacher-children interactions.
- Family & Community Partnerships – Program has reciprocal family-provider relationships.
- Management & Administration – Having effective processes to ensure childcare is well-managed.
- Professional Development & Qualifications – Ensuring staff are well-prepared and professional development is thoughtfully planned.
HiMama + Delaware Stars
Numerous early childhood programs in Delaware use HiMama in their licensed child care facilities to meet expectations set out by Delaware Stars. How your center chooses to use HiMama will vary based on the unique circumstances of your community, families, educators and attending children. However, we’ve provided some guidance on how HiMama will assist your early childhood program in meeting the expectations set out by Delaware Stars.
|KEY AREAS OF CARE
|Management & Administration + Professional Development & Qualifications
- Increase retention of high-level staff through teacher empowerment
- Staff is applying mobile technology in the classroom to better align with expectations of the families
- Provides professional growth and development activities, through numerous HiMama resources, including weekly blog articles, weekly podcasts for leaders in early childhood education, white papers and reports
- Components of staff performance can be evaluated through the HiMama app, including classroom documentation quality and interactions with families
- The HiMama application saves on average 5 hours per teacher per week. Therefore, teachers can dedicate more time to observing and promoting interactions in the classroom that spur developmental growth for children.
|Family & Community Partnerships
- HiMama enables early childhood programs to connect parents with the classroom by inviting them to participate in children’s experiences and in turn build all around trusting partnerships
- Parents receive automatic individual updates and reports about their child’s experience and development in the early childhood program, including assessments to reflect on a child’s readiness for transitions to new programs or into school age programs
- HiMama has created a parent handbook template that includes risk management strategies and communication plans
|Learning Environment & Curriculum
- Assistance with lesson planning, developmental observations, online portfolios and development reports
- Delaware Early Learning Foundations is accessible for child care and early learning programs directly through the HiMama app
- Children’s health and well-being is tracked through the HiMama app, including illnesses and injuries
- Easily plan menus and weekly lesson plans (based on developmental domains)
- Easily add health notes (e.g. allergies), immunization records, as well as any other health records/documents to each child’s online profile
- HiMama electronic portfolios and development assessment reports can be shared with parents on an as-needed basis or by the schedule set by the early learning center / program
- Visual documentation of classroom activities assists in evaluation of classroom setup and learning activities
- Assess gaps in programming across learning domains
How do I find the closest Delaware Stars program?
To find a Quality Rated program near you, a parent or caregiver can visit Delaware’s State of Delaware website.
Savannah Copland is a Marketing Manager at HiMama. She has been working for over 3 years in the early childhood education space, and feels incredibly fortunate to have met, interviewed, and worked closely with registered early childhood educators, thought leaders and researchers during that time. She is particularly interested in finding novel ways for child care centers to market themselves and bolster their enrollment. She loves cats, and always needs at least one toy on her desk to fidget with!