Providing High-Quality Care

High quality is a journey, not a destination.

Woman_with_2_children_220 For child care providers, it’s important to take your facility to the next level and strive for quality standards. Child care has become part of the daily routine for families with young children. Working parents rely on early childhood professionals to give their children a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment, so their children are prepared to enter school.

There are several indicators of quality that Child Care Resources encourages parents to look for in identifying whether a child care environment is committed to the developmental needs of young children. Specifically, these indicators are national accreditation, the Montana STARS to Quality rating program, and whether providers are participating in state grant and incentive programs to improve their environments.

 Best Beginnings STARS to Quality Program

The Best Beginnings STARS to Quality program is Montana’s voluntary Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS). The STARS to Quality Program, initiated with a field test in 2010, now includes 200 providers statewide. Participating facilities receive support and financial incentives for meeting specific quality indicators in a five-level system. Click here for more information about the STARS to Quality Program, or to apply to participate. Click here to learn more about participating programs in our area.

Montana’s Early Childhood Career Path

Montana has developed a comprehensive, coordinated career development system for practitioners working in every type of childhood setting. Gain the recognition you deserve for your experience, education and training accomplishments in early care and education by joining The Practitioner Registry. Your education and experience will determine your level on the Career Path. Registry participation is a requirement of many financial incentives available for providers who complete specific training. For more information, visit the Montana Early Childhood Project website or by calling 800.213.6310 or 406.994.4746.

The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential

The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE) and is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE.

The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is based on a core set of competency standards, which guide early care professionals as they work toward becoming qualified teachers of young children. The Council works to ensure that the nationally-transferable CDA is a credible and valid credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development. For more details, visit the Council for Professional Recognition website.