Menu
  1. Home
  2. What's New
  3. Services
  4. Parent
  5. Provider
  6. County
  7. How Do I...?
  8. Search for Child Care
Servicesbreadcrumb separatorLicensingbreadcrumb separatorStar Rated Licensebreadcrumb separatorHow Points are Earned

How Points are Earned

How Points are Earned 


When you apply for a star rated license, a child care consultant will visit your facility to initiate the process of evaluating and assessing program and education standards as well as one quality point option.   
 

You will receive one point for meeting minimum requirements. To earn more than one point in program and education standards, you will have to meet higher enhanced standards. A summary of those standards is listed below:


1. Program Standards

Child Care Centers:

Must meet one or more of the following based on the number of points for which you are applying:

  • Increase the number of activities and activity areas
  • Meet enhanced space
  • Meet enhanced staff child ratios
  • Score at least 4.0 or higher on an environment rating scale assessment

 

 Family Child Care Homes:

Must meet one or more of the following based on the number of points for which you are applying:

  • Complete a self-study/assessment using the family child care home environment rating scale over a 3-month period
  • Score at least 4.0 or higher on the environment rating scale
  • Reduce the number of infants enrolled

 

Environmental Rating Scales (ERS):

Scores on the ERS significantly impact the number of points a program can receive in the program standards component of the Star Rated License assessment. To earn three to seven points, programs must score between 4.0 and 5.0 for each group assessed. Programs can achieve higher scores on the ERS through preparation and practice. To prepare for the Rated License Assessment go to the  North Carolina Rated License Assessment Project web page. The NCRLAP website will provide answers to common questions about the scales including “How should I prepare for the visit?” and “What should I expect the day of the assessment?”. Some programs choose to practice for the assessment by conducting a mock assessment to discover areas of strength and areas of needed improvement.

 

2. Education Standards

Child Care Centers:

The number of points earned in education standards is based on the education level and early childhood experience of staff. The Division's staff will evaluate transcripts to determine the number of semester hours that can be counted towards the higher levels in this component.

To earn more than one point:

  • The administrator and at least 75% of lead teachers must have completed their  credential requirements
  • A certain percentage of staff must have extra semester hours and/or child care experience

 

Additional points may be earned if more staff have completed early childhood coursework or have certification on the NC Early Care and Education, and have more experience working with children. For example, at the highest level in Education Standards, seven points are earned if:

  • The administrator has a Level III NC Administration Credential or equivalent, and 4 years of experience
  • All lead teachers have NC Childhood credentials or equivalent or Level I or higher certification on the NC Early Care and Education (ECE); and 75% of lead teachers have either a degree in Early Childhood/child development or any major with 12 semester hours in early childhood/child development and 2 years of experience; or Level IV NC Early Care and Education and 2 years of experience
  • 50% of teachers have completed their NC Early Childhood Credential or equivalent, or Level I or higher certification on the NC ECE; and either have additional coursework and 2 years of experience or Level III or higher certification on the NC ECE and 2 years of experience
  • School age staff have completed school age coursework, Basic School Age Training, and have experience working with school age children


Family Child Care Homes:

The number of points earned in education standards is based on having NC Family Child Care Credential or Certification on the NC Early Care and Education; the early childhood education coursework; and child care experience. The Division's staff will evaluate your transcripts to determine the number of semester hours that can be counted towards the higher levels in this component.

At the highest point level, 7 points are earned if the child care operator has a degree in Early Childhood Education/Child Development; or associate degree in any major with 12 hours in early childhood/child development; and have experience working with children.

Quality Point

Child care operators may choose to meet additional education or programmatic criteria to earn one (1) Quality Point. This Quality Point will be added to the total points earned in program standards and staff education to determine the total number of stars earned.

Listed below are examples of the Quality Point options. The full text of the Child Care Requirements related to the Quality Point is found in Section .2800.   

Examples of Education Options:

  • 75% of center infant/toddler teachers have obtained an Infant/Toddler Certificate
  • All lead teachers and 75% teachers have completed an A.A.S. or higher in early childhood education/child development
  • 75% of group leaders have obtained a NC School Age Care Credential or 6 semester hours in school-age coursework
  • A family child care home provider has obtained an Infant/Toddler Certificate or has a BS/BA or higher in early childhood education/child development
  • Completed 20 additional annual on-going training hours for all center staff and home providers

Examples of Programmatic Options:

  • Uses age/developmentally appropriate curriculum that addresses five domains of child development (not for 4 and 5 star rated programs serving 4-year old’s)
  • Reduced group sizes in centers
  • Reduced staff/child ratios in centers
  • Licensed capacity reduced to four preschool children in a family child care home
  • Business training course completed for a center administrator and a family child care home provider


How Do Points Determine Star Ratings? 

This table shows the breakdown for the number of stars a program can receive based on the total points earned in each of the two components and the quality point option described above.

 

Number of Stars Received

Total Points Earned

1 - 3 Points

4 - 6 Points

7 - 9 Points

10 - 12 Points

13 - 15 Points

 



Three Star Example 
 

A facility earns 4 points in program standards and 4 points in education standards, and 1 quality point. The total is 4 + 4 + 1 = 9 points. The facility would earn a three-star rating.

 

Example

Program Standards

4 Points

Education Standards

4 Points

Quality Point

1 Points

Total Score

9 Points

Star Earned

 

 

For more information about the star rated license, refer to Section .2800 of the child care requirements. For a summary of the points distribution for program and education standards after March 1, 2019, click on the charts below. For more information about the star rated license, refer to Section .2800 of the child care requirements. For a summary of the points distribution for program and education standards before March 1, 2019, click on the charts below.
Child care centers with preschool only Child care centers with preschool only (before 3/1/2019)
Child care centers with preschool and school-age Child care centers with preschool and school-age (before 3/1/2019)
Child care centers with school-age only Child care centers with school-age only (before 3/1/2019)
Child care centers located in residence Child care centers located in a residence (before 3/1/2019)
Family child care homes Family child care homes (before 3/1/2019)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 
Back To Top