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Star Rated License


In September 2000, the Division issued star rated licenses to  child care centers and family child care homes meeting all minimum child care requirements as well as those choosing to meet higher standards . Under the original star rated license, facilities were evaluated on three components:

  • Staff Education
  • Program Standards

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.

Note: Religious-sponsored child care programs  continue to operate with a Notice of Compliance and do not receive a star rating unless they choose to apply. 

Compliance History 

Before evaluating a program to determine star rating, license programs are monitored to ensure they meet minimum standards. A facility's compliance history  score is determined to show the program meets a certain percentage of the minimum standards for licensed facilities. For  licenses 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 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  child care programs to be recognized for the higher quality care that it was already providing. In the previous system, the 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:


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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