YONKERS, N.Y. – The Zagat’s of child care is coming to Yonkers.
QUALITYstarsNY, a rating and improvement system for early child care programs, has selected Yonkers’ Healthy Kids Extended Day Program as one of its newest participants.
Similar to scoring restaurants or movies, QUALITYstars grades programs according to a set of standards, giving one to five stars depending on how they perform. Organizers say it helps parents know where their child’s care stands in terms of performance and also helps administrators improve their program.
"Consumers are used to star ratings - and if we can do it for restaurants, hotels and movies, then we can do it for our children," Victory Lynn Riedy, executive director of Club Fed Child Care Center in Albany, said in a statement.
A project of the state’s Early Childhood Advisory Council, QUALITYstars says it will grade Healthy Kids Extended Day Programs in categories such as learning environment, family engagement, qualifications and management.
Independent of the Yonkers Public Schools, Healthy Kids programs provide district families with before and after school child care services. They are located in more than 30 elementary school buildings around the Mid-Hudson valley, including nine in Yonkers.
The new scoring system will allow city parents to see exactly how programs in places like DiChiaro Elementary or Dodson, stack up against others in the area and the state.
Six years in the making, the QUALITYstars is one-of-a-kind, organizers say, giving parents important insight on how their children are being cared for and educated.
“A large body of research supports the many positive and long-term outcomes for children who attend high-quality early care and education, including better school performance, higher rates of high school and college completion, increased earnings in adulthood and higher rates of home ownership,” QUALITYstars says.