The Rating Process

Primary Criteria for Star Rating

QUALITYstarsNY formulates star ratings for early childhood programs and providers based on two primary criteria:

  1. Documentation Review
  2. Environment Rating Scales (ERS) Results

1. Documentation Review, including Qualifications & Experience in Aspire:

During the Standards Inventory process, sites submit specific documentation demonstrating that they meet QUALITYstarsNY Program Standards. Documentation must be current and in practice within the previous 12 months. Program staff must also submit documentation about staff professional qualifications & credentials to Aspire, New York's early childhood workforce registry. The information in Aspire's database is automatically communicated to QUALITYstarsNY's rating system and is used to determine the number of points that a site can earn in the standard category of Qualifications & Experience. A team of QUALITYstarsNY raters review all submitted documentation to determine the number of "points" a program will receive towards its star rating.

2. Environment Rating Scales (ERS) Results:

A second criterion of the QUALITYstarsNY rating involves an independent evaluation of a site's classrooms using the Environmental Rating Scale (ERS) tool. During this process, an assessor physically observes classrooms to evaluate them on many known indicators of quality outlined in the ERS tool. The average ERS score across all classrooms/groups in a given site corresponds to a specific number of points. These points are added to the points earned in the Provisional Rating to generate an Active Rating.

The Two Ratings: Provisional and Active

There are two ratings in QUALITYstarsNY: the Provisional Rating and the Active Rating.

A Provisional Rating is issued to a site based on QUALITYstarsNY's review of the site's Standards Inventory and documentation. QUALITYstarsNY uses the Provisional Rating to determine which sites will receive independent ERS observations (those which are assigned a Provisional Rating of 3 stars or higher).

An Active Rating is issued to a site once their Independent ERS observation has been conducted. The Active Rating is determined by adding the points earned in the Provisional Rating to those earned in the independent ERS observation.

Programs earning Provisional Ratings of 1 and 2 stars are not eligible for ERS so their Provisional Rating becomes their Active Rating.

Sites with Provisional Ratings of Three Stars and higher will receive an ERS assessment. To receive an Active Rating at the Three-Star level or higher, a QUALITYstarsNY site must have an independent ERS observation and obtain a minimum average score of 4.25 or higher.