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What is Oklahoma’s Reaching for the Stars?

What is Oklahoma’s Reaching for the Stars?

March 7, 2017 | By Tom Tu
Oklahoma’s Reaching for the Stars program was implemented in 1998 by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. This was developed to improve the quality of child care in the state and to give parents a uniform standard by which to measure and compare child care centers.
Oklahoma Reaching for the Stars

Why is Reaching for the Stars important?

This program was designed to achieve three goals:

  • To improve the competency level of child care providers and increase the overall quality of their programs.
  • To increase access to child care for families receiving child care assistance by increasing reimbursement rates
  • To create a system that informs parents about the level of quality their child receives at the chosen child care center

By raising the overall level of child care in Oklahoma and access to low-income families, this will create lasting benefits for children. Studies show that the first five years of a child’s life have a direct impact on the lifetime development of the individual. Young children who attended higher quality care programs had better language development, problem solving, and social skills. Thus, Reaching for the Stars increases the ability for child care providers to create the necessary experiences that lay the foundation for each child’s long-term success.

Oklahoma Reaching for the Stars

What is Reaching for the Stars’ rating scale?

There are 4 quality levels in the Reaching for the Stars program: One-Star, One-Star Plus, Two-Star, and Three-Star. There are specific criteria that must be met at each level:

HiMama + Oklahoma’s Reaching for the Stars

Numerous early childhood programs in Oklahoma use HiMama in their licensed child care facilities to meet expectations set out by Reaching for the 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 achieving a higher rating.

Director/teaching staff qualifications and ongoing development
  • 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
  • Family engagement
  • 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
  • Teaching practices and early learning programming
  • Oklahoma Early Learning Guidelines (ELG) is accessible for child care and early learning programs directly through the HiMama app, enabling assistance with lesson planning, developmental observations, online portfolios and development reports
  • 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
  • Process quality
  • 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.
  • Intuitive lesson planning features empower teachers to be organized and follow through on their lesson plans to maximize children’s learning experiences.

  • How do I find the closest child care provider with a Reaching for the Stars rating?

    To find a Reaching for the Stars provider near you, a parent or caregiver can visit Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services website.

      HiMama makes documentation and reporting of children’s learning and development in alignment with Oklahoma Early Learning Guidelines (ELG) 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 Oklahoma's quality guidelines without all the paperwork and late nights.

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