A child care program that exceeds the state's expectations for early childhood education and child care is eligible for TRS certification. Through TRS certification, the state guarantees that the licensed center, be it a preschool, daycare, or otherwise, has the capacity, resources, and funding from the state to provide excellent child care.
Countless research studies have shown that early childhood education is a key factor in academic success for all and at-risk children. These programs provide children with age-appropriate, structured lessons geared toward a child's development and understanding in all fields: literacy, math, science, and language. Children who receive quality resources during their preschool years will be more ready to enter the k-12 school system when they ordinarily would have struggled to keep up with their peers. The TRS program is, therefore, one way to help provide a better foundation for at-risk children to succeed later in life.
Ensuring quality standards for education during early childhood is not the only way that the TRS program seeks to enhance childcare in Texas. The TRS program also aims to improve parent communication and involvement in a child's education from an early age, which is another important factor in the child's later educational and personal success. Furthermore, because this is a voluntary quality-based child care rating system, the TRS program fosters teacher empowerment, beginning with a caregiver's choice to meet the certification criteria. Teacher empowerment helps to encourage a culture of professionalism and lifelong learning in the field of child care. Finally, the requirement for a center to agree to work with the Texas Workforce Commissions subsidized child care program means that these resources are put exactly where they need to be.
TRS certification is based on these five categories: director and staff qualifications and training, caregiver-child interactions, curriculum, nutrition and indoor/outdoor activities, and parent involvement and education. Each of these categories has a specific purpose, which aims to improve child care and education in a measurable way. These categories offer the TRS a way to organize child care providers into three levels of certification (which are Two-Star, Three-Star, and Four-Star), corresponding to the provider's success in satisfying the requirements of each category. All licensed and registered child care providers must exceed expectations in these five categories to be considered.
HiMama’s goal is to connect child care providers to the resources they need to achieve and exceed the Texas Rising Star certification at a Four-Star level. HiMama aids in the process of certification so that educators can focus less on paperwork and more on the children. Further, numerous child care facilities in other states, including Pennsylvania, already use the HiMama program to ensure the optimal quality of their service, with appropriate curriculum materials, communication sheets, detailed procedures and resources to help centers document their efforts. 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 the foundations of the Texas Rising Star program.
|KEY AREAS||REQUIREMENTS||HIMAMA APPLICATION|
|1. Director & Staff Qualifications & Training||This category emphasizes teacher empowerment to deliver the best possible early childhood education to the children. A licensed center is measured based on its staff education, expertise, and training.||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|
|2. Caregiver-Child Interactions||This category emphasizes the way caregivers interact with the children, including the size of learning groups, child-teacher ratios, and the quality of the interactions.||Staff performance can be easily evaluated through the HiMama app, including classroom documentation quality and interactions with families.|
|3. Curriculum||This category measures the child care provider based on its lesson plans, curriculum and instructional formats, which must be age-appropriate.||Texas Infant, Toddler, and Three-Year-Old Early Learning Guidelines are accessible directly through the HiMama app, which integrates with lesson planning, developmental observations, online portfolios and development reports.|
|4. Nutrition and Indoor/Outdoor Activities||This category outlines the nutrition policies and practices, as well as the equipment, materials, and arrangement of the indoor and outdoor learning environment.||HiMama offers menu planning and activity planning resources are available to teachers and directors to assist with learning and development.|
|5. Parent Education and Involvement||Measures in this category relate to the education and involvement of parents and families in the program. A child care provider must encourage worthwhile interactions between families and the child care center.||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 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 program|
Additionally, documentation is imperative for Texas Rising Star program, as it clearly demonstrates the child care facility's qualifications in each category for the certification.
To find the Texas Rising Star program near you, a parent or caregiver can visit Texas Rising Star Website and then click to view 4-Star, 3-Star, and 2-Star providers. The list of TRS certified providers is updated on a monthly basis, however you can also confirm a program’s certification, by contacting your local workforce development board.
HiMama makes documentation and reporting of children’s learning and development in alignment with Texas Early Learning Guidelines for Early Childhood quick and easy so that educators can spend less time on documentation and paperwork and more time with children. Learn how HiMama can help you align to Texas quality guidelines without all the paperwork and late nights.