Supporting Quality in Child Care

Children’s brains are growing most quickly during their first years of life, and their experiences during these critical early years lay the foundation for the rest of their lives. Quality care – care that provides a loving, safe, stable and age-appropriate stimulating environment – provides the basis for healthy nurturing relationships, and helps children enter school ready to learn.

In addition to providing subsidies to offset the cost of child care, DHS funds a variety of initiatives to support early care and education providers in enhancing the quality of their programs.

BrightStars is the statewide quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) for state licensed child care centers, family child care homes, public preschools, and school age programs in RI. BrightStars helps programs to access and improve quality, and also helps parents choose quality in child care programs.

The Early Childhood Education and Training Program at CCRI provides an intensive professional development and training program that strengthens the capacity of both seasoned and novice child care staff through supportive coaching, supervised work experience, and formal academic course work.

The newly launched Center for Early Learning Professionals offers professional development, technical assistance, and training to licensed child care providers to increase the supply of high quality child care in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Early Learning and Development Standards (RIELDS) outline what young children should know and be able to do at different stages of their development. Multiple levels of professional development are offered to increase the number of early childhood programs implementing a RIELDS-based program.

The Child Care Facilities Fund provides low interest capital, technical assistance, and training to licensed child care providers to increase the supply of high quality child care in Rhode Island.

Child Care Health Consultation assists child care programs in recognizing and promoting the health and safety of children, families, and staff by employing specially trained health and early childhood professionals to offer consultation, technical assistance, and training.

Children's healthy development and learning is strengthened through DCYF Child Care Licensing Unit Support, providing for the effective implementation of inspection and licensing of Rhode Island child care programs, and seamless communication between the DCYF Unit and DHS' Office of Child Care.

RIDE Comprehensive Early Childhood Education (CECE) Standards guide the policies and practices of preschool and kindergarten programs committed to providing children with the highest quality early childhood education. CECE Standards are supported through technical assistance for, and the approval and monitoring of, high quality early childhood programs.