BrightStars is Rhode Island’s Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (TQRIS). A TQRIS is a method used in almost all states in the U.S. to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early care, education and school-age settings.
Through the star rating system, BrightStars helps early learning, education and school-age programs that care for children learn about best practices and apply them to the care children receive. BrightStars recognizes program quality and gives parents information to make choices about their children’s care and education.
BrightStars also helps families in Rhode Island access quality child care, early learning, and school-age programs through our referral program. Families may search for programs online or call our toll-free number, 1-855-398-7605, to speak with a referral specialist who can assist in finding a program that fits their needs.
Rhode Island is committed to high-quality early learning opportunities for all children. BrightStars was designed and implemented in partnership with the R.I. Department of Human Services, the R.I. Department of Education, the R.I. Department for Children, Youth and Families, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT and the United Way of Rhode Island.
A plan was developed by a committee representing state and community stakeholders to complete research and development over a two-year period, pilot test the draft system in 2008, and then launch wide-scale implementation, which began in 2009.
Through a competitive bid, the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children (Rhode Island AEYC) was selected to manage BrightStars.Rhode Island AEYC is the state affiliate for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and is committed to improving the wellbeing of young children.
Rhode Island General Law 42-12-23.1 authorizes and endorses BrightStars, as well as ensures its place within the state system by requiring state departments to “share information and work cooperatively with the Rhode Island quality rating system, a public-private partnership, to ensure that Rhode Island children have access to quality early care and education programs and school-age child care.