The North Carolina Star Rated License was established in 1999 to better define the quality of child care in the state and to assist parents in choosing child care. The North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) awards the Star Rated License to child care centers, family child care homes, and school-age programs based upon total points earned in two areas: (1) Program Standards and (2) Staff Education Standards. Program Standards points are awarded as child care programs meet basic licensing, enhanced standards, and ratio requirements. It is in this area that Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-R, ITERS-R, FCCERS-R, & SACERS) assessments are used. Child care programs with higher rating scale scores can earn more Program Standards points.
Since June 1999, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) has successfully managed the Environment Rating Scale assessment portion of the North Carolina Star Rated License process. A contract to implement the assessment process is maintained with DCDEE and the work performed by NCRLAP is monitored by DCDEE staff during an annual review process. A reasonable cost must be charged to support the high level of reliability of accurate and valid assessments that are conducted statewide when using the four assessment tools. UNCG has hired assessors and other staff to perform or assist in the completion of rating scale observations across the state. At the time of this writing, our organization has 55 full and part-time staff positions with most staff working from home offices across the state of North Carolina.
NCRLAP's mission is to help increase child care quality by assessing environments in child care centers, public schools, after-school programs, and family child care homes for the North Carolina Star Rated License. To improve children's experiences, we focus on conducting assessments that are reliable and valid. Therefore NCRLAP maintains high standards for initial and ongoing staff training on the assessment tools and strives for excellence in communication of results. These practices allow early childhood professionals to better understand positive child care practices, as defined by the assessment tools.
North Carolina Rated License Assessment Project
915 Northridge Street
Greensboro, NC 27403