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Star Rated License


In September 2000, the Division issued star rated licenses to all eligible child care centers and family child care homes. (Note: Religious-sponsored child care programs will continue to operate with a Notice of Compliance and do not receive a star rating unless they choose to apply.) Under the original star rated license, facilities were evaluated on three components:

  • Program Standards
  • Staff Education
  • Compliance History with Child Care Regulations

In 2005, the Division changed the way facilities earned stars in order to more accurately reflect indicators of a program's quality. Currently, facilities are evaluated on two components:

  • Staff education
  • Program Standards

In addition, programs having a two component license can earn a “quality point” for meeting enhanced standards for staff education and program standards.


Compliance History 

A facility's compliance history is a minimum standard for any licensed facility. For any new license or Notice of Compliance issued to a child care facility, the facility must maintain a compliance history of at least seventy-five percent (75%) for the past 18 months or during the length of time the facility has operated, whichever is less. The Division calculates the visit compliance score by taking the total possible points for items monitored at a visit and calculating the percentage of compliance based upon the actual points awarded. The compliance history of a facility is calculated by averaging each visit compliance score over eighteen (18) months. 

Sample Compliance History Assessment 18 Months
Regulatory Visit Types

Center Documents: 
Monitoring Requirements for Child Care Centers
Child Care Center Item Number Listing

Family Child Care Home Documents:
Monitoring Requirements for Family Child Care Homes
Family Child Care Home Item Number Listing

Why "Star Rated Licenses"? 

North Carolina moved to this system in 2000 for many reasons. It allows your child care program to be recognized for the higher quality care that you are already providing. In the previous system your program's individual strengths were not highlighted. For Family Child Care Homes, there was not any way to indicate being recognized for providing higher quality care.

Be sure to explore other pertinent star rated license information in order to:

  • Understand how points are calculated
  • Learn how a star rating can be increased
  • See a sample license
  • Read the most frequently asked questions about star rated licenses

Star Rated License Sample

Sample Two Component License Image




2201 Mail Service Center | Raleigh, NC 27699-2200
919-814-6300 | 1-800-859-0829 (In State Only)

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