Vermont's Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS) helps parents evaluate programs that care for their kids. Sponsored by the Child Development Division of the Vermont Department for Children and Families, STARS assigns star rankings to participating childcare, preschool and after school programs.
Programs must apply to receive a ranking.
The STARS coordinators consider applicants' qualifications, and operating policies, then assign them one to five stars. A single star means a program is new or examining its practices and working to improve them; a five-star ranking signifies that a program is established and outstanding in all areas.
Parents who meet the state's income eligibility guidelines may pay less for childcare if they enroll their children in programs with three, four or five stars.
Each month, Kids VT publishes an excerpt of the list of STARS participants. Find more information about STARS, a complete list of rankings and other childcare resources at dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/stars.
Shining Star: The Children's Early Learning Space
- Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
- Tina Grant
Each month, Kids VT spotlights one five-star program from the featured geographical area.
Address: 397 Main Street, Suite 5, Waterbury, 244-5980
Type of program: Year-round child care center
Year opened: 1998. When the Ben and Jerry's child care center closed, some parents collaborated with center staff to establish what is now called The Children's Early Learning Space.
Age range of children: Six weeks to 5-years-old
Last field trip: Adam's Apple Orchard. The staff also organize weekly grocery shopping trips to the Village Market in Waterbury. Children make out the grocery list, help purchase the groceries and help put them away.
Favorite rainy day activity: Obstacle course through a room.
Most recent staff development activity: Staffers began the day discussing two of the center's policies, and ended with a workshop about using sign language to communicate with infants and children.
50 Parkside Terrace, 476-6541
Barre Town Early Education Program
70 Websterville Road, 476-6617, ext. 6120
BRVTC Kid Connection Preschool
155 Ayers Street, 477-5245
Cabot Street Smiles Childcare
8 Cabot Street, 479-1373
CVCAC Learning Together Center @Brook Street School
45 Brook Street, 476-8474
Diann's Day Care
21 Clark Road, 476-2004
The Golden Apple Preschool and Learning Center
18 Middle Road, 522-5554
14 Nichols Street, 479-7144
7 Stowe Street, 522-3997
8 Circle Street, 479-1400
Lily Pad Childen's Center-Infant Program
8 Circle Street, 479-1400
527 Anderson Road, 476-7116
52 Websterville Road, 505-0516
Saltire Child Care, LLC
8 Circle Street, 476-9199
23 Granview Drive, 476-3833
Washington County Mental Health Services, dba New Leaf Family Center
260 Beckley Hill Street, 476-1480
58 Barre Street, 223-5141
The Family Center of Washington County Early Childhood Program
383 Sherwood Drive, 262-3292
Turtle Island Children's Center
659 Elm Street, 229-4047
Children's Early Learning Space
397 Main Street, suite 5, 244-5980
Hunger Mountain Children's Center
4940 Waterbury-Stowe Road, 244-5544
Kelly's Daybreak Childcare
11 Elm Street, 355-8281
Thatcher Brook Primary Preschool
47 Stowe Street, 244-7195
298 Twin Peaks Road, 881-5151
Y School Age Program in Waterbury
Thatcher Brook Primary School,
7 Stowe Street, 862-9622