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QRIS Child Care Center Resources

These resources were developed to assist early care and education teachers in meeting the Stars Program quality criteria; program coaches and licensing staff can use the resources when supporting programs in implementing QRIS quality practices. Families and the public can use the resources to learn more about the best practices offered in Oklahoma’s programs, including how they benefit children, families, and the programs.

These resources include examples, templates, and information that individuals can use to help meet criteria at the various Star levels. PowerPoint slides with short video clips are also included for each QRIS criteria.

Please note that the examples and templates are meant to assist in knowing what is expected or to get started in developing items that meet the individual needs of each program; none of the resources are required for use exactly as they are here.  Feel free to use the examples and modify them to meet your unique needs.  The examples are also not exhaustive—programs may develop and use other methods to meet Stars criteria.  When questions arise as to whether something meets specific Star criteria, Child Care Services Licensing Specialists or QRIS personnel are available to assist with these questions.

The QRIS resources are organized into two major files, one for Family Child Care Homes and one for Child Care Programs.  These major files are broken into sections based on the sections of QRIS policy: OAC 340:110-8.4 Licensing Status and Compliance, 8.5 Administrative, 8.6 Director and Personnel and Primary Caregiver Qualifications, 8.7 Professional Development, 8.8 Learning and Development, 8.9 Family Partnership, 8.10 Program Evaluation for Continuous Quality Improvement, and 8.11 Additional 4 & 5 Star Criteria.

Inside each section of policy are examples, templates, and/or information related to that area of Star criteria.   

Download Child Care Program Resource Book

Resource Sections

8.4 Compliance

Meeting and maintaining minimum licensing requirements ensures basic health and safety of children in care.  It is the foundation of the Reaching for the Stars program.

Download Compliance with Licensing Requirements

8.5 Administrative

No matter the size or type of business, programs and personnel can benefit from regular personnel performance evaluations. Evaluations can be used to clearly communicate expectations, document and improve performance, recognize accomplishments, and develop and motivate personnel.

The Oklahoma Core Competencies are documents that includes what all who work with young children need to know, understand, and be able to do to support children’s learning and development. It can be used to assess skills in content areas, plan for professional development, write job descriptions and personnel policies, and evaluate educational offerings. Visit the Oklahoma Human Services to download copy of the core competency for Early Childhood Practitioners or Out of School Time Practitioners . You can also request a copy by calling 1-877-283-4113 or faxing 405-962-1741. (Oklahoma Core Competencies for Early Childhood Practitioners is OKDHS Pub. No. 08-91; Oklahoma Core Competencies for Out-of-School Time Practitioners is OKDHS Pub. No. 14-32)

Written personnel policies clearly communicate the program's policies, procedures, and expectations.

The Oklahoma Professional Development Registry is a statewide database recognizing the professional development of all individuals working in the early care and education field and maintained by Center for Early Childhood Professional Development (CECPD). Some benefits of the registry are: professional development is maintained in one location, there is an interactive training calendar and map, individuals have access to their professional development record online at any time, and the registry can be used to plan meaningful professional development and track accomplishments.  Click here to go to the Oklahoma Professional Development Registry.

Meetings are the glue that holds the program together and serve as a way to communicate information, make and relay decisions, build teams, and identify and resolve problems.

Core Competencies

Personnel Evaluations

Personnel Evaluation Overview

Performance evaluation examples using Core Competencies

Educational Professional Development Plan (EPDP)

Personnel Policy and Procedure

8.6 Director and Personnel Qualifications Criteria

The level of quality found in child care largely depends on the knowledge and skills of the adults who work with children. All children are ready to learn from birth and what caregivers do or do not do can help or hinder a child’s success in life. Caregivers need to understand child development and implement developmentally appropriate practices so they can meet children’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical needs. Classrooms and children benefit when teachers understand and use Early Learning Guidelines (ELG), including lower behavior guidance problems and increased school-readiness

For additional information on educational scholarships and educational support services, click here to go to the Scholars for Excellence in Child Care web site.


  • Oklahoma Early Learning Guidelines for Children Ages Three through Five. DHS Pub. No. 10-54, Revised 5-2019. Can be obtained by calling 1-877-283-4113 or by downloading at Click on "Browse the online OKDHS Publications Catalog", then search for Oklahoma Early Learning Guidelines for Children Ages Three through Five.
Director and Personnel Qualifications Criteria

8.7 Professional Development:

The Director is a leader for the program and the primary person responsible for the day-to-day operations. A director has a vast knowledge of early care and education including, but not limited to operating a program, leadership, managing personnel, nutrition, child development, understanding and using the Early Learning Guidelines, etc.

Everyone who works with children and their families needs a basic understanding of child development and how children learn

For additional information on:

Professional Opportunities: Visit the Statewide Training Calendar

For educational scholarships and educational support services: Visit Scholars for Excellence in Child Care

Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Orientation

What is QRIS and how does the Stars program benefit children, families and programs?

Watch this 23 minute video to learn more.  Want Informal training credit? Print and complete this document - when you are done please email it to or fax it to 405-799-7634. 

Click here to view the video.  Click on the View button under the title "Oklahoma's Quality Rating Improvement System, A Framework of Quality."


8.8 Learning and Development

The learning environment is key to children’s learning and gives them the space, materials, and opportunity to learn and practice new skills.

Interest areas are thoughtfully designed areas. Learning is an interactive process and children learn through doing. The environment in which children play and learn provides them with opportunities to explore and interact with a variety of inviting activities and materials and is based on each child’s individual interests and needs.

Researchers agree that young children under two years old should not watch television or other screens.  During this time of rapid brain development, children need activities that promote language development and brain growth such as interaction with others and hands-on activities.

Children learn from outdoor play as well.  Fun and interesting outdoor interest areas can include experiences that are sometimes too messy for indoors, such as sand and water tables and some art activities.  In the heat of summer, a rug and basket of books placed under a shade tree is a cozy spot for reading to children.

High-quality early learning and out-of-school time environments include the use of developmentally appropriate curriculum and learning spaces based on individual children’s needs and interests.  Daily schedules are written timetables of events that show what is supposed to happen throughout the day. Lesson plans are the basic plan for the day and help teachers select, plan, and organize activities, projects, and equipment appropriate for the ages, development, and interests of children in their care.+

Child Screening and Assessment

Continuity of Care

8.9 Family Partnership

Family Partnership

Families are the child’s first teacher and are the link between the educational setting and home.  A strong connection between child care personnel and families is critical for building a positive environment for young children, allowing children to feel more secure, confident, and self-assured.  In addition, a high quality of family involvement reduces the number of complaints made.  Everyone, but especially children, benefits when providers and families work together. 


Keeping Families Informed

Systems for Sharing Information

8.10 Program Evaluation

Inventory of Equipment

Family and Personal Survey

Physical Environment Check Lists

Program Assessment Tools

The Oklahoma Quality Child Care Program Scale: Self-Assessment is a Child Care Services (CCS) approved assessment tool that is used annually for Program Assessment.  This assessment is not required for programs that are accredited by a CCS approved national accrediting body or if they are a Head Start.

Goal Setting


8.11 Additional 4 and 5 Star Criteria

Four and five Star programs implement and maintain additional quality criteria and are awarded the highest Star levels. Nationally accredited programs and Head Start programs compliant with Head Start Program Performance Standards can meet four and five Star levels by meeting all Star criteria for their Star level listed in previous sections plus implementing additional professional development criteria detailed in this section. Unaccredited programs can attain four and five Star levels by meeting all Star criteria for their Star level listed in previous sections plus implementing additional professional development and program criteria detailed in this section.

Additional Resources

Here you will find additional helpful resources for child care programs interested in the Reaching for the Stars program.