Investing in High Quality Child Care

From 2019 to 2023, GAR Foundation invested over $1 million in the STARS program. In collaboration with the Early Childhood Resource Center (ECRC), STARS supported local childcare centers, demonstrating how effective coaching and training can help improve educational attainment for young children.


Over the span of five years, STARS focused on:

  • Improving the quality of teacher interactions with their students through coaching and demonstrations.
  • Providing free Child Development Associate classes for teachers.
  • Increasing literacy and numeracy activities and environments in classrooms.
  • Creating meaningful parent engagement activities and events.
  • Improving business and administrative practices.
  • Assisting centers in applying for higher Step Up to Quality ratings with the State of Ohio.
VIdeo: STARS Program: Supporting Teachers & Ready Students

 

STARS Phase 2: Updates & Highlights

  • Summit Education Initiative found that students in STARS centers scored significantly higher on kindergarten readiness assessments, showing that our strategies helped children learn.
  • 75% of centers maintained or increased their Step Up To Quality improvement rating. This directly results in more funding from the State for these centers.
  • 57% of classrooms increased the quality of their environment, incorporating things like appropriate classroom layout, reading areas, and adequate transition time.

An Everlasting Impact

STARS shows that investing in child care, from improving the quality of the classroom environment, to coaching teachers, and supporting administrators, can and does impact how much young children learn. While this program has ended, we are excited to take everything we’ve learned to continue improving access to high-quality childcare for all children in Akron.  

“The program helped with learning how to be more of a diverse teacher. How to expand on what we think, and how to get more to the children’s level. We like to think we are the best teacher out there, and STARS helped me to realize that there is always room to grow as a teacher.”

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