On July 1, 2003, the University of Idaho's Center on Disabilities and Human Development (CDHD) and Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (Idaho AEYC), funded by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW), began a statewide project to lead Idaho’s early care and education professional development system called IdahoSTARS or the Idaho State Training and Registry System. Many individuals and programs had worked for decades to advocate for the development of a professional development system. They paved the way for this historic opportunity.
The roots of IdahoSTARS were planted in 1999 when an oversight committee was convened by Idaho DHW to make recommendations for improving the Idaho Child Care Program (ICCP). Creating a voluntary Professional Development System (PDS) to improve the quality of child care in Idaho was one of the recommendations. The Child Care Advisory Panel continues to provide input on the content of the state’s professional development system through the IdahoSTARS Project.
A key goal of the PDS system has been that its development should be consumer driven with increased quality of child care for the children in our state the ultimate outcome. When this outcome is achieved, research shows that children will enter school ready to learn and parents will be more productive in their work.
Since 2003, IdahoSTARS has...
- Successfully managed the child care provider eligibility component for the Idaho Child Care Program (ICCP) child care assistance for low income families.
- Created and developed a fully coordinated statewide Child Care Resource Center (CCRC), with 7 regional offices, to provide resources to child care providers and parents.
- Created and developed a statewide Professional Development System (PDS) for child care providers with a trainer/training approval component, mentor/coaching, Child Care Health Consultation, academic and training scholarships, facility improvement component through a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), and individual cash incentives for increasing skills and knowledge.
- Increased the cultural competency of the IdahoSTARS project through a Multi-Cultural Community Liaison staff position.
- Partnered with many other Idaho agencies and organizations to coordinate early care and education throughout the state.