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Best Beginnings STARS to Quality

Providers and Programs

STARS Town Hall Recording, August 13, 2020

STARS Town Hall Q&A 

Apply to STARS

Programs may apply for Best Beginnings STARS to Quality at any time on the Early Childhood Project website.  To apply, you must log in as an organization, go to the STARS tab, and click “Apply for STARS”.  If your application is accepted, you will be notified and sent a STARS to Quality agreement and W-9 which must be returned in order to be accepted into STARS to Quality.  Click the link below to apply. If you need assistance, contact your Local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency.

Support for STARS Programs

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

The CACFP is federally funded by the Food and Nutrition Services of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Department of Public Health and Human Services/Human & Community Services Division/Early Childhood Services Bureau is the State agency which administers the Child and Adult Care Food Program in Montana. The State agency:

  • Provides consultative, technical and managerial personnel to administer the program in the state
  • Provides sufficient training and technical assistance to institutions
  • Monitors program performance
  • Facilitates the expansion of the program
  • Ensures effective operation of the program by participating institutions

For more information go to the CACFP website.

Pyramid Model

Pyramid Model trainings are required for teachers in STARS to Quality programs beginning at STAR 2. STARS programs may request on-site coaching to support a program’s approach to implementing social emotional supports.

Pyramid Model Videos

NAFCC Accreditation Mentoring

Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies are available statewide to coordinate mentoring to programs pursuing NAFCC accreditation.

STARS Consultants

Programs will have a STARS Consultant assigned to them through their local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency. The Consultant is available to assist programs in quality improvement planning, action planning, understanding the STARS program criteria and steps involved, and will be there to work with the program to meet individual program goals as the program requests.

STARS Support from Businesses

The Early Childhood Services Bureau recognizes businesses who are independently supporting Best Beginnings STARS to Quality Participants. If you are a STARS to Quality Participant, please contact your STARS coach for more information.

The State of Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Early Childhood Services Bureau does not endorse particular vendors, these vendors have provided this opportunity to Best Beginnings STARS to Quality participants independently as a means of supporting high quality early care and education for young children.

Workforce Support and Incentives, Professional Development

More information is available through the Early Childhood Project.

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Contact Us:

Rhonda Schwenke, Best Beginnings Lead Program Specialist

Shandi Hayes, Best Beginnings Program Specialist