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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.

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2018: Reflecting Back on the Year

The end of the year is a time of reflection, and 2018 has given us so much to think about. With legislative successes, like doubling CCDBG and Tiered Reimbursement, and a productive BrightStars Think Tank, child care in Rhode Island has experienced a year of tremendous growth. We want to take the time to reflect on these successes, and encourage you to think about your engagement with BrightStars in the year ahead.

2018 began with a historic investment in child care at the federal level. This year’s omnibus bill included the largest increase in funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), a total of $2.37 billion. CCDBG helps low income families access child care by providing states with funding to address affordability and improve child care.  RIAEYC played a role in its passage by attending NAEYC’s Public Policy Forum to lobby Rhode Island’s federal delegation for the increase.

Back at the state legislature, these increases were applied to Tiered Reimbursement, which ties programs’ CCAP rates to their BrightStars ratings. After eight years of state advocacy, this long-awaited return on investment in quality is finally in place. BrightStars commends all of the child advocates that participated in Lobby Days with the Campaign for Quality Child Care and testified at the state house to help get this initiative passed!

With additional funding available to programs, BrightStars sought to make higher ratings more accessible. The BrightStars Think Tank made 3-Star ratings more accessible and reduced the financial burden of increasing to 5 Stars. Stay tuned for more information about how you can increase your BrightStars rating, thereby increasing your CCAP reimbursement, in 2019 through upcoming professional development opportunities!

 

Lauren Hogan, Helen Blank, & Hannah Matthews, “Child Care and Development Block Grant: Where Are We Now?” May 2018

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