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  1. Early Childhood Resource Center
  3. STARS: Supporting Teachers and Ready Students Initiative

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What is STARS? STARS: Supporting Teachers and Ready Students, is an exclusive program designed to provide expert tools to help eligible early childcare centers navigate the Step Up to Quality (SUTQ) rating process. It will provide the support and expertise to help eligible childcare centers increase their SUTQ ratings over the next two years. There is no cost to participate in the STARS program.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Program must have publicly funded children enrolled
  • Program must be located in an Akron City zip code
  • Program must be willing to meet all SUTQ standards for becoming highly rated (3-5 stars)

Key Program Elements:

  • Expert guidance on how to obtain and increase your SUTQ rating over two years
  • Feedback and coaching for your teachers to improve their skills
  • CLASS™ Assessments
  • Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) Awareness
  • Program Evaluation
  • Child Development Associate Credentialing
  • Creative Curriculum Training
  • Family and Fatherhood Engagement Strategies
  • Cultural Competency Training
  • Trauma-informed Care
  • Participation in School Readiness Coalitions
  • Program Administration Scale Leadership Development
  • Training and Use of Transitional Skills Summary
  • A stipend as an incentive for program completion

Your center must:

  • Be open to intensive coaching;
  • Be willing to partner with and have outside organizations (trainers, coaches, evaluators) in your center;
  • Commit to meeting 1-2 times a week with Early Childhood Resource Center (ECRC) staff, who will conduct assessments, train and coach staff, and offer guidance on the SUTQ system;
  • Work with Summit Education Initiative to implement the use of the Transition Skills Summary (TSS), which helps teachers identify what a child needs to accomplish before entering kindergarten to ensure they’re ready for success;
  • Work with Summit Education Initiative and an outside evaluator to observe teachers and collect other data as needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the program;
  • Participate in quarterly School Readiness Coalition meetings, in which individuals who work with young children in schools, preschools, and other settings, along with interested community members, gather to discuss early learning and school readiness;
  •  Implement new parent and father engagement programs and strategies, with support from ECRC staff;
  • Participate in a leadership development program for your center’s management.

Ready to Apply? Download the application here.

Deadlines: Send the completed application via email by the deadline to or mail to the address below, postmarked no later than Friday, January 4, 2019

Attn: LaShonna Johnson

Early Childhood Resource Center

18 N. Forge Street

Akron, Ohio 

Timeline: Centers will be notified by Friday, January 18th. Centers may be called before selection. The STARS project will officially launch in February 2019 and run through February 2021.

Questions? For questions about the application, please contact LaShonna at 330-903-0762 or via email at


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