Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Oklahoma Child Care Services (OCCS) Comments and Recommendations Regarding Reaching for the Stars

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2 C Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Oklahoma Child Care Services (OCCS) Comments and Recommendations Regarding Reaching for the Stars Oklahoma s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), Reaching for the Stars, criteria enhance child care facilities in the State of Oklahoma. These criteria are designed to improve and promote quality environments for children in care outside their own homes. The criteria were developed from input solicited from providers, the public, and information from research and approved by the Commission for Human Services and the Governor of the State of Oklahoma pursuant to the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures Act. It is the intent of OKDHS that Reaching for the Stars criteria are clear, reasonable, fair and enforceable. In the interest of serving the public, comments are welcomed anytime and will be considered for future revisions or development of new criteria. Please complete the form below and send it to: OK Department of Human Services Oklahoma Child Care Services/Reaching for the Stars PO BOX Oklahoma City, OK Reaching for the Stars criteria for: (program type) Reference: Please give the topic of the specific criteria to which you are referring, such as Parent involvement): Recommendation: Because: Your Name Date

3 Child Care Centers 2 Effective 7/1/12

4 REACHING FOR THE STARS CRITERIA FOR CHILD CARE CENTERS TABLE OF CONTENTS OVERVIEW... 4 CONTACT INFORMATION... 5 REACHING FOR THE STARS CRITERIA... 9 RATIONALE AND NOTES FOR CLARIFICATION COMPLIANCE WITH LICENSING REQUIREMENTS TIPS FOR STAYING IN COMPLIANCE APPROVED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT MASTER TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES EXTENSION PROCEDURES EXTENSION REQUEST FORM RESOURCES CHILD CARE PROVIDER RATE SCHEDULE DEFINITIONS Child Care Centers 3 Effective 7/1/12

5 QRIS OVERVIEW Reaching for the Stars is the name of Oklahoma s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). Oklahoma was the first state in the nation to implement a QRIS. At least 30 other states have implemented some form of a quality rating and improvement system. What is a Quality Rating and Improvement System? A QRIS is a method to improve, assess and communicate the positive practices in early care and education settings. The criteria used in QRIS have been developed from research and are based on the relationship between criteria and what is considered universally to be quality care. Oklahoma s Quality Rating Improvement System was designed to assist individual providers in improving the care and education they provide for children, raise the professional development level of child care providers, and increase parents awareness of the importance of positive practices in child care. The Reaching for the Stars program is for all child care providers who are shaping the lives of children and the future of our state. Our goal is for each provider to Reach for the Stars, grow professionally and be recognized for their accomplishments. OKDHS Oklahoma Child Care Services is committed to providing the resources and incentives needed to increase Star levels. Please consult your Licensing Specialist, Consultation and Technical Support Specialist (CATSS) or Stars Outreach Specialist (SOS) to determine how you can join other child care providers in enhancing and improving child care in Oklahoma. Levels of Reaching for the Stars Certification for Child Care Centers One Star. A facility that has a license (6 month permit, license) is automatically designated as a One Star facility. One Star Plus. An owner must apply for and meet all 1 Star and 1+ criteria. Two Star.¹ An owner must apply and meet all 1, 1+ and 2 Star criteria. Three Star. An owner must apply for and meet all 1, 1+ and 2 Star criteria and be accredited by one of the approved national accrediting agencies. ¹ Another way a facility may apply and qualify for Two Star is by earning and maintaining accreditation with one of the approved national accrediting agencies or by a Head Start grantee and compliant with Head Start Performance Standards and having a compliant licensing record. Complete Star policy can be located at Resources in this book can assist programs in understanding and implementing OCCS Reaching for the Stars policy. Child Care Centers 4 Effective 7/1/12

6 QUALITY RATING AND IMPROVEMENT SYSTEM STAFF Jennifer Towell - Program Manager SEQUOYAH MEMORIAL BUILDING PO Box Oklahoma City OK or Fax: (405) Linda Bradford Assistant Program Manager Woodward County 77-C DHS 2119 W Main Woodward OK Fax: (580) Dena Barker Assistant Program Manager Tulsa County 72-G 6128 E. 38 th St. Suite 315 Tulsa or Fax (918) REACHING FOR THE STARS----STARS OUTREACH SPECIALISTS Misti Denton North Cherokee County 11-C P.O. Box 1067 Tahlequah, OK or Fax (918) Counties: Adair, Alfalfa, Beaver, Blaine, Canadian Cimarron, Cherokee, Craig, Creek, Custer, Delaware, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Kay, Kingfisher, Lincoln, Logan, Major, Mayes, Muskogee, McIntosh, Noble, Nowata, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Payne, Roger Mills, Rogers, Sequoyah, Texas, Tulsa, Wagoner, Washington, Woods, Woodward Marchell Newton South Oklahoma County 55-H 7201 NW 10 th Oklahoma City OK (405) or or Fax: (405) Counties: Atoka, Beckham, Bryan, Caddo, Carter, Choctaw, Cleveland, Coal, Comanche, Cotton, Garvin, Grady, Greer, Harmon, Haskell, Hughes, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnston, Kiowa, Latimer, LeFlore, Love, Marshall, McClain, McCurtain, Murray, Oklahoma, Pittsburg, Pushmataha, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Seminole, Stephens, Tillman, Washita Child Care Centers 5 Effective 7/1/12

7 QUALITY RATING AND IMPROVEMENT SYSTEM STAFF CONSULTATION AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT SPECAILIST Terrie Dally NW Region (1) Garfield County 24 PO BOX 3628 Enid, OK Fax: Counties: Alfalfa, Beaver, Blaine, Canadian, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Kay, Kingfisher, Major, Noble, Pawnee, Texas, Woods, Woodward Denise Anderson SW Region (2) Comanche County West Lee Blvd. Lawton, OK Fax: Counties: Beckham, Caddo, Comanche, Cotton, Custer, Grady, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Jefferson Kiowa, Love, Roger Mills, Stephens, Tillman, Washita Annette Tipton S Central Region (3) Cleveland County 14-C 631 E Robinson Norman, OK or Fax: Counties: Cleveland, McClain, part of Pottawatomie (74851, 74852, 74873, 74878, 74854, 74801) Peggy Adams N OK County Region (4A) STO-Oklahoma County PO BOX Oklahoma City, OK Fax: County: Oklahoma (Bethany 73008, Edmond 73003, 73025, 73134, OKC 73012, 73101, 73106, 73107, 73112, 73116, 73118, 73120, 73122, 73123, 73127, 73132, 73137, 73142, 73146, 73147, 73156, 73162, 73178, 73198, 73199, Warr Acres 73122, 73123, 73132) Child Care Centers 6 Effective 7/1/12

8 Tracy Howard S OK County Region (4B) Cleveland County 14-A 2507 N. Shields Blvd. Moore, OK Fax: County: Oklahoma (Del City 73115, 73135, Harrah 73045, OKC 73102, 73103, 73104, 73105, 73108, 73109, 73115, 73117, 73119, 73124, 73125, 73126, 73128, 73129, 73135, 73136, 73139, 73143, 73144, 73148, 73149, 73150, 73154,73157, 73159, 73163, 73164, 73167, 73169, 73172, 73173, 73179, 73185, 73190, 73193, 73197, Wheatland 73097) Susan Bradley - E OK County Region (4C) STO Oklahoma County PO BOX Oklahoma City, OK Fax: County: Oklahoma (Choctaw 73020, Jones 73049, Luther 73054, Midwest City 73110, 73130, 73140, OKC 73110, 73111, 73113, 73114, 73121, 73130, 73131, 73140, 73141, 73145, 73151, 73152, 73155, 73194, 73195, 73196, Nicoma Park 73066, Spencer 73084, Tinker AFB 73145) Vikki Dobbins N Central Region (5) STO Oklahoma County PO BOX Oklahoma City, OK Fax: Counties: Creek, Lincoln, Logan, Osage, part of Oklahoma (Arcadia 73007, Edmond 73013, 73034, 73083, OKC 73184, Newalla 74857), Payne, part of Pottawatomie (Meeker 74855, Shawnee 74804), Seminole, Part of Tulsa (Sand Springs 74063) Tonja Lorenzo North Tulsa Region (6) Tulsa County 72-B 3666 North Peoria Ave Tulsa, OK Fax: Counties: Part of Tulsa (Collinsville 74021, Owasso 74055, Skiatook 74070, Sperry 74073, Tulsa 74103, 74106, 74110, 74116, 74117, 74119, 74126, 74127, 74130), Washington Child Care Centers 7 Effective 7/1/12

9 Jean Ortberg South Tulsa Region (7A) Tulsa County 72-B 3666 North Peoria Ave Tulsa, OK Fax: County: Tulsa (Bixby 74008, Broken Arrow 74011, 74012, Glenpool 74033, Jenks 74037, Tulsa 74105, 74108, 74114, 74120, 74128, 74129, 74132, 74133, 74134, 74135, 74136, 74137, 74145, 74146) Sandy Matthiessen NE Region (8) Wagoner County73 -C 102 NE 7 th Street Wagoner, OK or Fax (918) Counties Adair, Cherokee, Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Nowata, Ottawa, Rogers, Wagoner Lashaun Edwards-Luckey East Central Region (9) Muskogee County 51-C PO BOX 608 Muskogee, OK Fax: (918) Counties: Haskell, McIntosh, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Sequoyah, Part of Tulsa (74104, 74107, 74112, 74115) Delilah Hilliard SE Region (10) Atoka County 03-C 401 N. Greathouse Dr Atoka, OK or Fax: Counties: Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Choctaw, Coal, Garvin, Hughes, Johnston, Latimer, Leflore, Marshall, McCurtain, Murray, Okfuskee, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pushmataha Child Care Centers 8 Effective 7/1/12

10 REACHING FOR THE STARS CRITERIA AND EVIDENCE FOR CHILD CARE CENTERS Star Level/Key Term Criteria Indicator Evidence/Acceptable documentation 1 Star OAC 340: (b) and (c)(1) 1+ Star OAC 340: (b) and (c)(2) 1+ Star Administrative OAC 340: (a) 1+ Star Administrative OAC 340: (a) 1+ Star Administrative OAC 340: (a) 1+ Star Administrative OAC 340: (a) Operating on permit or license Compliance with licensing requirements OAC 340: (a)-(b) MEET ALL 1 STAR AND ADDITIONAL CRITERIA INDICATED BY 1+ STAR All staff have access to licensing requirements At least annually, the director or supervising staff evaluates employees in writing using the Oklahoma Core Competencies and develops the educational professional development plan with staff. The center provides an employee handbook for staff and includes information on hiring and firing, job duties and responsibilities, professional development requirements, child abuse reporting and personnel attendance policy The facility is registered as a direct care organization with the Oklahoma Professional Development Registry Provided by OCCS: State issued permit or license. Monitoring reports and complaint summaries for last 24 months; paper or electronically from OKDHS OCCS As verified above for all 1 Star criteria and meeting all items listed with 1+ Observe on-site by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Written staff evaluations Staff evaluation form Staff evaluation tool Staff evaluation professional development plan Observe on-site by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Observe on-site by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff OCCS staff verify Professional Development Registry at: Child Care Centers 9 Effective 7/1/12

11 Star Level/Key Term Criteria Indicator Evidence/Acceptable documentation 1+ Star Administrative OAC 340: (a) 1+ Star Professional Development Director OAC 340: (a) 1+ Star Professional Development Staff OAC 340: (b) 1+ Star Professional Development Director OAC 340: (a) Staff OAC 340: (b) Staff counted in staff child ratio are members of the Oklahoma Professional Development Registry and have a current professional development ladder certificate. New staff must be on the registry within 12 months of employment. Director on-going professional development 2 college credits or 30 hours of job related professional development every 12 months of employment To locate professional development opportunities visit: Staff on-going professional development 2 college credits or 20 hours of job related professional development every 12 months of employment To locate professional development opportunities visit: Director and staff have an educational professional development plan---plan is written, individualized, reviewed annually, and updated as needed. May include potential professional development career goals and/or identified training topics OCCS staff verify Professional Development Registry at: OCCS staff verify Professional Development Registry at: or by: Job-related professional development certificates Job-related college credits on college transcripts OCCS staff verify Professional Development Registry at: or by: Job-related professional development certificates Job-related college credits on college transcripts EPDP form EPDP tool Staff evaluation plan Degree plan Observe on-site by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Child Care Centers 10 Effective 7/1/12

12 Star Level/Key Term Criteria Indicator Evidence/Acceptable documentation 1+ Star Professional Development Staff OAC 340: (b) 1+ Star Professional Development Staff OAC 340: (b) 1+ Star Learning Environment OAC 340: (a) 1 staff for every 20 children of the licensed capacity must actively work toward the education requirements to obtain master teacher qualifications. Actively working toward education is defined as: within every employment year, potential provider or master teacher receives at least (a) 3 college credits toward CoM, CDA or CCP, OR (b) 3 college credits in ECE or CD, OR (c) 40 clock hours of professional development toward CDA or CCP. Staff working toward master teacher qualifications are trained in Oklahoma s Early Learning Guidelines Weekly lesson plans for all age groups of children Lesson planning resources are the Oklahoma Early Learning Guidelines Infant/Toddler/2: OKDHS Pub No Preschool: OKDHS Pub No (visit for more information) OCCS staff verify Professional Development Registry at: or by: Job-related professional development certificates Job-related college credits on college transcripts OCCS staff verify Professional Development Registry at: or by: Job-related professional development certificates Job-related college credits on college transcripts Current, written and readily available lesson/activity plan located in every classroom for all groups of children posted in every classroom Copy provided Observe on-site by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Child Care Centers 11 Effective 7/1/12

13 Star Level/Key Term Criteria Indicator Evidence/Acceptable documentation 1+ Star Learning Environment OAC 340: (a) 1+ Star Learning Environment OAC 340: (a) All children are read to at least 15 minutes per day Space for children 2 years of age and older is arranged in a minimum of 6 well-defined and equipped interest areas in each classroom and includes: art, block building, book reading, dramatic play, manipulative play & music and movement. For more information on planning your environment refer to the Oklahoma Early Learning Guidelines as a resource. Infant/Toddler/2: OKDHS Pub No Preschool: OKDHS Pub No (ask an OCCS staff or visit Classroom schedules Lesson plans Observe on-site by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Each room has 6 separate interest areas that are well defined and well stocked with age appropriate equipment for each category Floor plan showing the location of areas in each classroom. photos of each interest area Equipment Inventory, observe on-site by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff 1+ Star Learning Environment OAC 340: (a) 1+ Star Learning Environment OAC 340: (a) The indoor & as weather permits, outdoor environment are utilized daily for all children to engage in physical activity. TV or other screen time is not used for children younger than 2 years of age. Classroom schedules Lesson plans Observe on-site by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Classroom schedules Lesson plans Observe on-site by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Child Care Centers 12 Effective 7/1/12

14 Star Level/Key Term Criteria Indicator Evidence/Acceptable documentation 1+ Star Family Engagement OAC 340: (a) 1+ Star Family Engagement OAC 340: (a) Facility staff have established and maintains a system for sharing and communicating with families the happenings, activities, and issues regarding their child's physical and emotional state Families are welcome into center at all times Examples/copies of daily documentation provided to families Explanation of verbal procedure Sample of journaling pages Observe on-site by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Policy in Family handbook Poster in Family communication/resource area Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff 1+ Star Family Engagement OAC 340: (a) 1+ Star Family Engagement OAC 340: (a) 1+ Star Family Engagement OAC 340: (a) Individual parent conferences documented at least annually Center provides family resource area Includes items such as books, pamphlets, and articles on children and family issues accessible and available to families Two family meetings with guest speakers or special events are held each year Conference sheet in child's record Parent Sign in Sheet Parent signed refusal Calendar with dates listed Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Description of location and types of resources Photos of resource area Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Pictures of the events Flyers or invitations to the event Newsletters Agendas Sign in sheets Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Child Care Centers 13 Effective 7/1/12

15 Star Level/Key Term Criteria Indicator Evidence/Acceptable documentation 1+ Star Family Engagement OAC 340: (a) 1+ Star Family Engagement OAC 340: (a) 1+ Star Family Engagement OAC 340: (a) 1+ Star Program Evaluation OAC 340: (a) 1+ Star Program Evaluation OAC 340: (a) 1+ Star Program Evaluation OAC 340: (a) Center has at least 2 methods of keeping families informed of their program: Bulletin Board Handbook Newsletter /Listserv Website (specific to each facility location) Families participate in program and policy development through board involvement, planning meetings, or questionnaires Licensing requirements available to families Health and safety checklists for both indoor and outdoor spaces are completed annually Parents & staff are surveyed annually to identify program's effectiveness in meeting the needs of children, parents, and staff An equipment inventory is conducted annually using the applicable OKDHS form and kept on file at the center. Description of location and items on bulletin board Copy of Parent Handbook Copy of newsletter address, contact list and sample Website address Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Meeting minutes or agenda listing present board members and position Meeting minutes or sign in sheets from planning meetings Completed yearly questionnaires. Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Completed checklist on file at center Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Completed surveys and responses Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Official Equipment Inventory is maintained by OCCS in the licensing case file Annual Equipment Inventory is observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Child Care Centers 14 Effective 7/1/12

16 Star Level/Key Term Criteria Indicator Evidence/Acceptable documentation 2 Star OAC 340: (b) and (c)(3) 2 Star Administrative OAC 340: (b) 2 Star Administrative OAC 340: (b) 2 Star Qualification OAC 340: (a) MEET ALL 1 & 1+ STAR AND ADDITIONAL CRITERIA INDICATED BY 2 STAR; OR meet 1 Star and be accredited by a national accrediting agency approved by Oklahoma Child Care Services or a Head Start program in compliance with Head Start Performance Standards A policy and procedure manual is maintained on-site for staff and includes the program s mission or vision statement, information on organizational structure, code of professional conduct and the center s discipline philosophy. A minimum of two staff meetings are conducted annually and include time to discuss quality and its impact on the facility. Master teachers must be employed, on-site on a full-time basis and trained in Oklahoma s Early Learning Guidelines. As verified above for all 1 and 1+ criteria and meeting all items listed with 2 Star OR Verified as per 1 Star licensing status and current certificate from national accreditation agency or Head Start Documentation of the program indicating zero non-compliance issues at last review and/or all non-compliance issues at last federal review are resolved. Copy of Policy and Procedure Manual Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Staff sign in sheets and agenda's Meeting minutes with staff present Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Staffing schedules/staff time sheets Professional Development Registry at: Job-related professional development certificates Job-related college credits on college transcripts Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Child Care Centers 15 Effective 7/1/12

17 Star Level/Key Term Criteria Indicator Evidence/Acceptable documentation 2 Star Qualification OAC 340: (a) Master teacher must meet one of the following qualifications: 1) Occupational child care competency certificate for master teacher/lead teacher. 2) Current CDA or CCP Credential. 3) Certificate of Mastery in child development or early childhood education from an accredited Oklahoma college. 4) 30 college credit hours with 15 credit hours in child development, or early childhood education from an accredited college/university, 5) Four year degree from an accredited university with 6 college credit hours in child development or early childhood education. 6) Two or four-year degree from accredited college or university in child development or early childhood education. 7) A valid teaching certificate in early childhood education from the Oklahoma State Department of Education. 8) Current Level 3 or higher on Oklahoma Early Care and Education Professional Development Ladder OCCS staff verify Professional Development Registry at: or by: Job-related professional development certificates Job-related college credits on college transcripts Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Child Care Centers 16 Effective 7/1/12

18 Star Level/Key Term 2 Star Qualifications OAC 340: (c) 2 Star Qualifications OAC 340: (d)&(e) Criteria Indicator One master teacher is required per every 30 children of licensed capacity. During second and subsequent years as a Two or Three Star center, there must be a master teacher for every 20 children of the licensed capacity. This number does not include school age children if the majority of children in care are younger than five years of age. Directors qualify as master teacher if licensed capacity minus school age children is 30 or less. Master teachers work directly with children and support other teaching staff with responsibilities. Evidence/Acceptable documentation For the number of master teachers needed use the following information and formula: License type, license capacity, floor plans and equipment inventory Licensed capacity Minus SA = Divided by 30 first year Divided by 20 second & subsequent Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Job descriptions Interviews Employee handbook Observed by OCCS staff License type, license capacity, floor plans and equipment inventory 2 Star Qualifications OAC 340: (b) SCHOOL-AGE PROGRAMS: Centers licensed as school-age programs or programs where the majority of children are school-age. One master teacher for every 40 children of licensed capacity The director may also count as master teacher For the number of master teachers needed use the following information and formula: License type, license capacity, floor plans and equipment inventory Licensed capacity Divided by 40 Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Child Care Centers 17 Effective 7/1/12

19 Star Level/Key Term Criteria Indicator Evidence/Acceptable documentation 2 Star Learning Environment OAC 340: (b) The daily schedule allows children time to complete tasks. The schedule reflects a balance and variety of activities that includes time for indoor and outdoor play, active and quiet play, rest periods, and meals. Written and readily available in every classroom Posted in every classroom Copy provided Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff 2 Star Learning Environment OAC 340: (b) 2 Star Learning Environment OAC 340: (b) Children 2 years old and older have space with a minimum of eight interest areas: art, block building, book reading, dramatic play, manipulative play, math, music/movement and science/nature. A minimum of 2 learning areas are available outdoors For more information on planning your environment refer to the Oklahoma Early Learning Guidelines as a resource. Infant/Toddler/2: OKDHS Pub No Preschool: OKDHS Pub No (ask an OCCS Staff or visit The program utilizes Oklahoma Early Learning Guidelines as a resource for lesson & curriculum planning Each room has 8 separate interest areas that are well defined and well stocked with age appropriate equipment for each category Floor plan showing the location of areas in each classroom, photos of each interest area Learning areas for outdoor time may be labeled on the lesson plan, Equipment Inventory. Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Current, written and readily available lesson/activity plan located in every classroom for all groups of children with ELG areas referenced Posted in every classroom Copy provided Observe on-site by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Child Care Centers 18 Effective 7/1/12

20 Star Level/Key Term Criteria Indicator Evidence/Acceptable documentation 2 Star Learning Environment OAC 340: (b) 2 Star Family Engagement OAC 340: (b) 2 Star Family Engagement OAC 340: (b) Staff participates in physical activity with children at least once per day. Parent conferences are held at least twice a year and a written report about the child is provided to the parents at the conference. The program maintains a current list of available community resources, including health care, education, nutrition and counseling. The program assists families in locating and connecting with these services as needed. Current, written and readily available lesson/activity plan and/or daily schedule located in every classroom for all groups of children--posted in every classroom Copy provided Observe on-site by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Conference sheet in child's record--written document that includes child's progress, challenges, goals, and accomplishments signed by parents and indicates copy of report was given to parent Parent Sign in Sheet Parent signed refusal Calendar with dates listed Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff List of resources, pamphlets or a book. Listed in Child/Families record Written on Parent conference form Indicated on parent surveys Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff 2 Star Program Evaluation OAC 340: (b) The program is assessed within the first year of receiving two Star status and every three years using an assessment tool approved by OCCS. (This assessment is not required for programs accredited by a national accrediting agency approved by OCCS). Reviewed from CECPD Professional Development Registry Reported by CECPD or OCCS staff Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Child Care Centers 19 Effective 7/1/12

21 Star Level/Key Term Criteria Indicator Evidence/Acceptable documentation 2 Star Program Evaluation OAC 340: (b) 2 Star Program Evaluation OAC 340: (b) 2 Star Program Evaluation OAC 340: (b) 3 Star OAC 340: (b) and (c)(4) The program goals are established within the first year of obtaining Two Star status. AND Updated annually based on information gathered from the completed health and safety checklists, parent and staff surveys, equipment inventory, and an assessment tool approved by OCCS. The program has a written plan for meeting goals that includes professional development and educational needs of staff as well as facility policy and procedures. Staff participates in program evaluation and the established goals are shared with staff. MEET ALL 1, 1+ & 2 STAR CRITERIA AND ACCREDITED BY A NATIONAL ACCREDITING AGENCY APPROVED BY OCCS OR A HEAD START PROGRAM IN COMPLIANCE WITH HEAD START PERFORMANCE STANDARDS Copy of written plan, discuss progress Professional Development Plans Policy and Procedures Observed by and/or discussed OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Copy of written plan, discuss progress Educational Professional Development Plans Policy and Procedures Observed by and/or discussed OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff Staff meeting sign in sheets and agenda's Staff meeting minutes with staff present Staff newsletter Observed by OCCS, R&R or CECPD staff As verified above for all 1+ and 2 Star criteria AND current certificate from national accreditation agency or Head Start documentation of the review showing the program has zero noncompliance issues and/or all noncompliance issues at last federal review are resolved. Child Care Centers 20 Effective 7/1/12

22 RATIONALE AND NOTES FOR CLARIFICATION OF STARS CRITERIA FOR CHILD CARE CENTERS A. Licensing status and compliance with licensing requirements as per OAC 340: Rationale: Meeting and maintaining minimum licensing requirements ensures the basic health and safety of children in care. It is the foundation of the Reaching for the Stars program. Numerous, Repeated, Serious (NRS) as per OAC 340: Numerous, Repeated, and/or Serious (NRS) licensing violations may prevent a facility from being approved for a higher Star level. (See page 25 of this document for additional information regarding NRS). A reduction in your Star certification may occur when violations are not corrected in the agreed upon time frame, the facility has serious non-compliance with licensing requirements, a serious incident occurs resulting in injury or imminent risk of injury to a child, or an Emergency Order or notice of proposed denial or revocation of license is issued. The licensing history is always considered for application request, extension request and reductions. B. Administrative practices as per OAC 340: Rationale: No matter the size or type of business, your program and staff can benefit from regular employee performance evaluations. Evaluations can be used to clearly communicate expectations, document and improve performance, recognize accomplishments, and develop and motivate staff. Research shows that well educated and compensated teachers and providers are key elements to early childhood program quality and outcomes for children. The child care field is plagued with high teacher turnover rate and low wages are part of the problem. The level of education and professional development attained by a child care provider is one of the strongest predictors for the provider's ability to offer high quality care, yet most child care teachers and providers earn poverty-level wages. Improved services for children require better compensation for the child care workforce. Child Care Centers 21 Effective 7/1/12

23 C. Qualifications as per OAC 340: Rationale: The level of quality found in child care largely depends on the knowledge and skills of the people who work with children. Their knowledge in Early Learning Guidelines is key to classroom success, including lower behavior guidance problems and increased school-readiness. The number of master teachers needed is based on capacity. School age children may be deducted from the total capacity IF the majority of children in care are younger than five years of age. For example: Center s capacity is 55 Minus - 25 school age 30 capacity = 1 master teacher the 1st year of 2 Star One master teacher would be needed when first applying for 2 Star to meet the 1:30. After utilizing 12 months of 2 Star status, there must be a master teacher for every 20 children of the licensed capacity. NOTE: The number of school age is determined by floor plan and the Equipment Inventory on file in the licensing office. The director may only be counted as a master teacher if the licensed capacity minus school-age children is 30 or less. SCHOOL AGE: Centers licensed as school-age programs or programs where the majority of children are school-age must have a master teacher for every 40 children of the licensed capacity. The director may be counted as a master teacher in centers licensed as school-age programs or programs where the majority of children are schoolage. D. Professional Development as per OAC 340: Director Professional Development Rationale: The Director is a leader for the program and the primary person responsible for the day to day operations. A director has a vast knowledge of early care and education including, but not limited to: operating a facility, leadership, managing staff, nutrition, child development, understanding and utilizing the Early Learning Guidelines, etc. Staff Professional Development Rationale: Everyone who works with young children and their families need a basic understanding of child development and early education and how children learn. Educational Professional Development Plans Rationale: A written educational professional development plan serves as a map to progress in the field of early education. It helps individuals stay organized to meet professional development deadlines so they can plan for and track professional development needed to renew credentials and other certifications like CPR. Child Care Centers 22 Effective 7/1/12

24 E. Learning Environment as per OAC 340: Rationale: Quality learning experiences for children are enhanced by a well-planned curriculum. Daily schedules are written timetables of events that show what is supposed to happen throughout the day. Lesson plans are the basic plan for the day and help teachers select and prepare for activities, projects and themes that are appropriate for the age and development of children in their care, as well as organize content, materials, and methods. Reading aloud to children is an important part of the day as it helps children acquire the information and skills they need to succeed in school and life. Vocabulary (knowing the names for things) begins to develop at birth and reading to children is the single most important activity for building the foundation required for eventual success in reading. Interest areas are thoughtfully designed/planned areas of space. Learning is an interactive process and children learn through doing. The environment in which children play and learn should provide them with opportunities to explore and interact with a variety of activities and materials, and allow for each child s individual temperament, moods, and development. Outdoor centers offer learning opportunities just as they do inside, and are ideal for curriculum that is planned in response to children s interests. The outdoors is also a good place to provide experiences that are sometimes too messy for indoors, such as sand/water table and some art activities. Note: Learning environment resources: Equipment Inventory and Oklahoma Early Learning Guideline for Infants, Toddlers and Twos (ELG), [OKDHS Pub No 10-23] and/or Oklahoma Early Learning Guidelines for Children Ages Three through Five (ELG), [OKDHS Pub. No 10-54] are available from any OCCS staff or at Interest Areas Research indicates that children who play learn to regulate their own emotions and ideas, take more initiative, engage in higher level thinking, and develop an understanding of symbolic relationships that are a precursor to reading and mathematical thinking. Interest centers are thoughtfully designed/planned areas of space that are designated for certain activities; like or similar toys, materials, and equipment displayed and readily available. Using the Early Learning Guidelines as a resource can greatly assist in providing a quality environment. Interest Area Basics and Best Practices: Well defined: areas can be separated with low shelves; partial walls, rugs, etc. Inviting to children More active areas are grouped to not conflict with quieter/less active areas Have a basic supply of materials (using the applicable equipment inventory) organized so that children can use them effectively Have an adequate number of play slots with no more than 3 to 4 children per center area. Should be age and developmentally appropriate Situated in such a way to afford visual supervision Child Care Centers 23 Effective 7/1/12

25 Should be changed on a regular basis Labeled with words and or pictures. F. Family Engagement as per OAC 340: Rationale: Families are the child s first teachers and are the link between the educational setting and home. A strong connection between child care staff and families is critical for building a positive environment for young children, allowing children to feel more secure, confident and self-assured. In addition, high quality of family involvement reduces the number of complaints made. Everyone, but especially children, benefits when providers and families work together. G. Program Evaluation as per OAC 340: Rationale: Taking the time to evaluate your program is universally recognized as one of the key indicators of quality in child care. Evaluating your program helps you identify the strengths and weaknesses in your facility, grow as a professional, provide a quality environment for the children in your care, and increase family awareness regarding the importance of their child s care. H. Accreditation as per OAC 340: Rationale: Accreditation and Head Start standards reflect a process of extensive selfstudy and external review of the program compared to benchmark standards of quality set by the accrediting agency or the federal government. It is not only a process of quality but a commitment to continuous improvement. Most accreditation or Head Start standards exceed Reaching for the Stars criteria. Child Care Centers 24 Effective 7/1/12

26 COMPLIANCE WITH LICENSING REQUIREMENTS The foundation of the Reaching for the Stars program is licensing requirements. Before seeking to meet additional quality criteria, a program should first strive to maintain compliance with requirements established as a minimum standard for operation. OKDHS has established the following policy to assist child care providers and licensing specialists in evaluating compliance. The program must have a permit or license, and must not have numerous, repeated, or serious non-compliance with applicable licensing requirements. The monitoring visits and substantiated complaints for the last 24 months of operation are reviewed to determine whether the facility meets the compliance criteria. If there is a history of numerous, repeated or serious non-compliance over the last 24 months, Star certification may be denied. An existing facility may be reduced if serious non-compliance occurs. The following defines numerous, repeated and serious non-compliances for licensing as per OAC 340: : A. Numerous non-compliance is any monitoring visit with six or more items documented as non compliant on the monitoring report for a facility with a licensed capacity of less than 60; or seven or more items for a facility with a licensed capacity of 60 or more. Each numbered item on the monitoring report that has been marked as non-compliant is counted once even though there may be more than one non-compliance included in that item. B. Repeated non-compliance is three or more documented incidents of non-compliance with the same requirement within the last 12 months. C. Serious non-compliance is a non-compliance with licensing requirements that exposes children to conditions that present an imminent risk of harm. Serious non-compliances are identified through licensing observations, confirmed complaint investigations, and/or self-reported incidences. Some examples of non-compliance that may be considered serious are: staff-child ratio; supervision of children; sleep position; prohibited disciplinary actions; licensed capacity; use of passenger restraints; water activities; pools and other water hazards; multiple hazards; weapons; reporting child abuse; knowingly permitting access to children by persons who are restricted or registrants; failure to obtain background investigations/restricted registry searches; administering medication to children; room temperature; heat sources and loss of any utility service; compliance file and/or posting; cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid training; liability insurance; or vehicle liability insurance. A non-compliance may qualify in more than one category in determining numerous, repeated or serious, and the same non-compliance, though only counted once, may qualify in more than one category. Example: An understaffing is considered serious but may be part of repeated or numerous non-compliance. For more information you may refer to the policy listed at: For information on Licensing Rights and Responsibilities: Child Care Centers 25 Effective 7/1/12

27 TIPS FOR STAYING IN COMPLIANCE 1. Know and follow the licensing requirements. 2. Prepare and practice every day as if you were going to have a licensing monitoring visit. 3. Do regular checks and walk through your facility. 4. Use other sets of eyes by having someone do a written check of your center from time to time. 5. Ask teachers to help monitor the facility for compliance with licensing requirements and Star criteria. Correct non-compliance or Star violations promptly. 6. Develop good behavior and habits in yourself and your staff. 7. Use safety supplies and technology and remember that nothing takes the place of supervision. 8. Plan know when something needs to be done or is going to expire and take care of it BEFORE that time. 9. Keep records organized and up-to-date: professional development, children s records, drills, etc. 10. Develop and carry a responsible attitude of ownership and pride in your center, your classroom, your work place. 11. Continue to seek professional development. For directors, job-related is in the areas of management, child development as well as early care and education. For staff, job-related is in the areas of child development or early childhood education. 12. Ensure that every teacher maintains an Educational Professional Development Plan and registration on the Oklahoma Professional Development Registry. Assist staff in selecting professional development that enhances their overall professional growth. 13. Encourage and support all teachers in obtaining a credential or degree. This will provide a larger supply of teachers meeting master teacher qualifications. 14. Utilize available resources such as Licensing Specialist, Consultation and Technical Support Specialist (CATSS) and Resource and Referral (R&R) to assist you in maintaining and enhancing compliance. 15. Do more than what you have to do. Child Care Centers 26 Effective 7/1/12

28 APPROVED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR STARS Professional development must be related to position responsibilities from an approved sponsor/source. Job related is directly associated with the 8 core content areas of the Oklahoma Core Competencies for Early Childhood Practitioners. Note: general education coursework such as English Comp I, Biology, Math, History, etc. does not count as approved annual professional development for Stars. Directors 9 Initial Star approval o at least has 2 college credits in management, child development or early childhood education or 30 clock hours of job-related professional development within the last 12 months 9 Ongoing professional development o at least has 2 college credits in management, child development or early childhood education or 30 clock hours of job-related professional development per employment year Staff 9 After being employed for 12 months, staff have 2 college credits in child development or early childhood education or 20 clock hours of job-related professional development per employment year Oklahoma Professional Development Registry (OPDR) AND Current Professional Development Ladder certificate (PDL) Once a member of the Oklahoma Professional Development Registry with a current professional development ladder certificate you may meet the professional development criteria by maintaining your PDL certificate current through annual renewal. 1 college credit hour equals 16 clock hours of professional development Professional development is an ongoing process used to improve the knowledge and skills to best serve children and families. A written plan helps to track training or credentials and ensure growth in the field of early care and education. Child Care Centers 27 Effective 7/1/12

29 All early care and education professionals should demonstrate competency in the 8 core content areas of the Oklahoma Core Competencies for Early Childhood Practitioners Child Growth and Development Professionalism and Leadership Health, Safety and Nutrition Program Planning, Development and Evaluation Oklahoma Core Competencies for Early Childhood Practitioners Child Observation and Assessment Interactions with children Learning Environments and Curriculum Family and Community Partnerships To locate professional development opportunities visit Child Care Centers 28 Effective 7/1/12

30 MASTER TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS CENTER A One Star and One Star Plus facility meets minimum requirements for master teachers with a ratio of 1 master teacher for every 60 children. For Two and Three Star centers, there must be 1 master teacher for every 30 children and after a year of 2 or 3 Star status, a center needs to have 1 master teacher for every 20 children. A person is not counted as a master teacher, director or qualified caregiver in more than one facility unless the facilities are programs that do not operate concurrently at any given time. A master teacher must be employed at the facility, be on-site on a full-time basis, work directly with children, be trained in ELG and meet and maintain ONE of the following: Occupational Child Care Competency Certificate for master teacher or lead teacher from an Oklahoma Technology school AND 3 months of satisfactory full-time experience in a licensed or legally exempt childcare setting. For more information about this certificate, call your area Technology school or OR Current CDA (Child Development Associate Credential). For more information, call or visit OR Current CCP (Certified Childcare Professional) credential. For more information, call OR Certificate of Mastery in early childhood education or child development from an accredited Oklahoma two-year College. For more information, call OR 30 college credit hours from an accredited college or university which includes at least 15 college credit hours in child development, early childhood education, or other coursework that supports working with children OR 4-year degree from an accredited college or university which includes 6 college credit hours in child development, early childhood education, or other coursework that supports working with children OR 2 or 4 year degree from an accredited college or university in child development or early childhood education OR A valid teaching certificate in early childhood education from the Oklahoma State Department of Education OR Be a member of the Oklahoma Professional Development Registry with a current professional development ladder certificate of Level 3 or higher Child Care Centers 29 Effective 7/1/12

31 Master teacher Qualifications for School-age programs A One Star and One Star Plus facility meets minimum requirements for master teachers with a ratio of 1 master teacher for every 60 children. For Two and Three Star centers licensed as a school-age program or programs where the majority of children are school age, a center must have 1 master teacher for every 40 children. A person is not counted as a master teacher, director or qualified caregiver in more than one facility unless the facilities are programs that do not operate concurrently at any given time. A master teacher must be employed at the facility, be on-site on a full-time basis, work directly with children, be trained in ELG and meet and maintain ONE of the following: One of the Master teacher qualifications required for centers, as listed on page 29 of this document OR 30 college credit hours from an accredited college or university which includes at least 15college credit hours in elementary education, recreation or other coursework that supports working with children, families and the community. OR 4-year degree from an accredited college or university which includes 6 college credit hours in elementary education, recreation or other coursework that supports working with children, families and the community. OR 2 or 4 year degree from an accredited college or university in elementary education, recreation or other coursework that supports working with children, families and the community. OR 120 clock hours of school-age related professional development within the last five years AND one year of full- time experience in a licensed or legally exempt school-age childcare setting AND every two years receives a minimum score of 5.0 on the School-Age Environment Rating Scale in a classroom where the master teacher is the lead teacher. Child Care Centers 30 Effective 7/1/12

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