Guides to Quality / How to Choose Quality Child Care

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BrightStars, Rhode Island’s Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System, assists families in finding care and recognizes and supports quality in early care and education programs.

Guides to Quality

The latest science tells us that the early years of life matter because early experiences affect a child’s brain development.

Like the construction of a house, brains are built from the bottom up, with early experiences setting the foundation for the rest of development. High-quality early care, education and afterschool programs help children grow socially, emotionally, and physically and enter school ready to learn.

Types of programs that provide care in Rhode Island

Child Care Center and/or Preschool

A program that provides early care and education for children in non-home settings. Children are often grouped by age into classrooms with one or two teachers. Child care centers have program directors, lead teachers, assistant teachers, and additional staff.

Family Child Care Home

Early care and education offered in a provider’s home. Children of mixed ages are often grouped together and some programs offer flexible hours. Family child care homes include the child care provider provider/owner and sometimes one or more assistants.

School-Age Program

Provides care and youth development to school-age children before and after school, during school vacations and summer breaks. The program may be located in schools, child care centers, family child care homes, or other settings.

Quality can be found in any type of early care, education and afterschool program. Search early care, education and afterschool programs to learn more about their quality.