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Increasing Your Star Rating

Increasing Your Star Rating 

Once you have received a star rated license, you may decide that you want to try and increase your star rating. If you have a one star rated license, you can apply for a 2-5 star rated license at any time. If you have a 2-5 star rated license, you can reapply for a higher rating at any time.

What are some of the things that you can do to earn more points?



Enroll all staff in Early Childhood classes

While you earn the most points when staff receive a degree, you might also be eligible for more points as they complete individual classes. Extra benefits for completing ongoing classes are:

  • One caregiver can share their knowledge from classes with other caregivers which improves the overall level of care provided to the children
  • You will have more flexibility if one caregiver quits and you have to fill that position with someone with equal education to maintain the education points you have already earned
  • Staff may be eligible for salary supplements

Develop a plan to reduce your staff/child ratios over time

If reducing your ratios now would mean having to decrease your enrollment, you may want to reduce your numbers as children age out of classrooms

Use environment rating scale results

If you had an environment rating scale done initially, use the information contained in the summary to make continuous improvements in all classrooms

Use environment rating scale assessment materials

If you have not had an environment rating scale completed, use the rating scale books to conduct individual assessments prior to applying. Some providers find it helpful to have a teacher from one classroom observe in a different teacher's room. Read thoroughly the information in the books, as well as the NC Additional Notes found at the North Carolina Rated License Assessment Project website to help you complete the observation correctly.

Develop operating and personnel policies

Work with local Smart Start partnership staff or Resource and Referral staff to develop or review operating and personnel policies. Make sure all the content areas in the rules are included

Continue to meet licensing requirements

Continue to meet all licensing requirements so that your compliance percentage will increase over time

Resources available to assist you in increasing points:

  • The TEACH program can help offset the cost of classes
  • Child Care Health Consultants can provide you with assistance on improving the overall health and safety of your child care program.
  • WAGE$ is a salary supplement and is an incentive for caregivers to complete coursework and stay in the child care field
  • Local Smart Start partnerships have various quality improvement programs in which they work closely with individual programs to improve the quality of care provided
  • Resource and Referral Agencies provide training on a variety of topics, including completing an environment rating scale

Child care consultants are available for providing technical assistance and consultation either on site or over the phone




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

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