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Star Rated License FAQs

What is the process for applying for a 2-5 star rated license?

The application packet can be accessed on line on the DCDEE website. Once you've completed the application, mail it to your child care consultant and a visit will be made to evaluate your program. Please visit our “Star Rated License” tab for more information.

What is the cost to apply for a higher license?

There is no cost to apply for a star rated license. If you are having an Environment Rating Scale Assessment completed (to earn more points in the area of program standards), you will receive one free assessment every three years. If you re-apply for a higher star rated license and request to have the rating scale done again before the three-year period has elapsed, you will be charged for the rating scale assessment on a per classroom basis.

How long do I have to wait to apply for a higher star rated license?

You can apply for a higher license at any time. Again, you can either contact your child care consultant or the application packet can be accessed on line on the DCDEE website.

How do I obtain the Environment Rating Scale book?

Many local Resource and Referral agencies or Smart Start partnerships have Environment Rating Scale books that you can borrow. You can also purchase one from Teachers College Press by calling (800) 575-6566.

I have heard that there is additional information about Environment Rating Scales that providers can use as a resource. Where can I access this information?

The North Carolina Rated License Assessment Project (NCRLAP) maintains detailed information about the Environment Rating Scale Process as well as additional notes and training that are provided as clarification for provider. You may access additional information and resources by visiting the NCRALP website.

What occurs when an Environment Rating Scale Assessment is done?

Child Care Centers: The assessors schedule a date to visit your program. When they arrive, they will randomly select classrooms to observe. One-third of the classrooms will be assessed. No information will be left at the end of the assessment. A summary will be mailed to your consultant who will deliver and review it with you.

Family Child Care Homes: The assessors schedule a date to visit your home. They will stay and observe for approximately four hours. No information will be left at the end of the assessment. A summary will be mailed to your consultant who will deliver and review it with you.

What if I disagree with the Environment Rating Scale Assessment score?

There is a procedure for providers to appeal their rating scale scores if they disagree with the assessment. The first step is to let your child care consultant know you would like to appeal the score. In some cases, the assessments may be repeated.

What information about a 2-5 star rated license is available for public review at the Division of Child Development and Early Education?

A copy of the application for the 2-5 star rated license and documents that support the number of points earned for the star rated license are kept on file at the Division, along with other public information about the facility (visits, inspections, etc.). This would include the compliance history score calculated when the application was submitted and a copy of the Environment Rating Scale Assessment, if one was completed. Some visit summary reports are available on line at the DCDEE website.

NOTICE: Global Site Search function is currently under maintenance and will not provide results. We apologize for the inconvenience. This does not impact the Child Care or Kindergarten searches.




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