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IdahoSTARS continues to showcase the highest quality child care facilities in the State. Meet real-life examples of quality child care, celebrate their successes, and see the possibilities for other child care providers reaching the same goals. 

Please join us in celebrating Leahann Larson, Owner and Director of Auntie’s Place in Osburn. Larson has earned a Steps to Quality, Step 5 rating. In this question-and-answer series with Larson from October 11, 2021, learn more about her experiences becoming recognized as a high-quality child care facility:

IdahoSTARS: What are you most proud of about your facility? 

Larson: The family feel that we have.  I have a small group of kids and many of my families have been with me for many years.  I love the connections we have made that last even when the kids go off to school

 IdahoSTARS: What are your future goals for your facility? 

Larson: Continuing to improve our space inside and out.

IdahoSTARS: Can you describe your journey through the Steps to Quality program? 

Larson: In the beginning it was challenging but Region 1 had a wonderful CCRC rep who walked providers through it step by step.  The past couple of years it’s honestly been so challenging, the rep we had moved on to a new job and we have been left with little to no help with things we needed to do.  The turnover in our CCRC department has been high.  At one point we didn’t even know who we had to contact with questions.  The motivation to stay with the program has been pretty low. 

IdahoSTARS: What attributes does someone need to be successful in reaching the higher steps of Steps to Quality? 

Larson: Being goal oriented and driven is a big plus

IdahoSTARS: Knowing “success” is not only being measured by step advancement, in what ways other than a step rating have you measured your success in Steps to Quality? 

Larson: Knowing that I’m going above and beyond the basic requirements for my daycare license and doing what I can to give my kids the best I can. 

IdahoSTARS: What challenges did you face to reaching the higher steps of Steps to Quality? How did you overcome those challenges?

Larson: Figuring out what the state wanted to meet the step requirements and what I needed to do to achieve those.  I made the list of what I needed to do, set the goal and where I had challenges my CCRC Rep helped walk me through it.  The past 2 years have been difficult both personally and in business.  Working my way through all of the challenges and hits that have come my way one day at a time. 

IdahoSTARS: What motivated you to participate in Steps to Quality? In what ways did you utilize regional office or coaching supports to help you increase quality in your facility?

Larson: I wanted to be the best provider I could be.  Anyone can settle in doing the bare minimum that is required, but to go above and beyond gives me the opportunity to give my kids the best.  The CCRC Rep we had in the beginning was amazing, and I valued every bit of help and guidance she had to offer. 

Thanks for reading! If you haven’t already, please join our Steps to Quality (STQ) program for free coaching support, a transparent process, eligibility for grants and monetary recognition, and your center name promoted on our website.  Where to start? 1. Login to your RISE account. 2. Select the Help tab. 3. Click on Steps to Quality.