Learning Leader

Strengthening Child Care Quality in Texas

In September 2017, the Texas Workforce Commission partnered with the Children’s Learning Institute to strengthen implementation of the Texas Rising Star program (TRS), the statewide quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). The final report for the study was published in October 2019.

The Texas Rising Star program is a voluntary QRIS for child care providers participating in the Texas Workforce Commission’s subsidized child care program. Certification is available to licensed centers and licensed and registered home-based child care providers that meet the certification criteria, as defined by the TRS Certification Guidelines. The TRS program offers three levels of certification (2-star, 3-star, and 4-star) to encourage providers to attain progressively higher levels of quality. Texas Rising Star has been implemented in Texas since 1991 with several program revisions in the subsequent years, most recently in 2015. The Texas Workforce Commission continually monitors progress and comprehensively reviews the program every four years; the Strengthening Texas Rising Star Implementation Study is a component of the current four-year review.

CLI, the designated Texas State Center for Early Childhood Development, designed the implementation study with a focus on three broad initiatives:

  • Study the reliability and validity of the TRS assessment system and make recommendations for improvement;
  • Develop a sustainable certification and training system for TRS Assessors and Mentors to ensure ratings are consistent across local Workforce Development Board areas and assessors; and
  • Test delivery of mentoring protocols aligned with TRS standards, enhancing TRS’s quality improvement capabilities.

Following data collection and analysis, CLI developed seven recommendations to strengthen Texas Rising Star program implementation, detailed in the executive summary and final report. Related to the assessment tool used to evaluate participating child care programs, the study findings support changes to specific items and scoring procedures that evaluate quality at the facility- and class-levels. Additionally, more rigorous training and reliability monitoring is recommended to ensure accurate ratings across the state, and establishing a quality improvement framework (including targeted technical assistance and professional development) for all participating child care programs.

Visit our website to download the final report from the Strengthening Texas Rising Star Implementation Study. For more information about the Texas Workforce Commission review, please visit the Texas Rising Star website.

Executive Summary report cover


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