All licensed and registered programs and providers in the State of Michigan appear on Great Start to Quality as an Empty Star, meaning they are licensed or registered. You can visit the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to learn more about how to become a licensed or registered program or provider.
If you choose to participate in the Great Start to Quality rating process, you will obtain your published rating on a scale of one- to five-stars.
Great Start to Quality from Start to Finish
The chart and steps below show you the steps you will take when you choose to participate in the Great Start to Quality rating process.
Step 1: Update Your Great Start to Quality Program Profile
Your program’s profile:
- Has been filled out with your program’s information from licensing.
- Is posted as an Empty Star until you choose to participate in Great Start to Quality.
- Is what parents and families see when they use Great Start to Quality to search for child care and preschool.
- Can be edited to show parents everything your program offers, so the more information you can provide, the better.
Please contact your local Great Start to Quality Resource Center online or by calling 1-877-614-7328 if you need assistance with logging in.
Step 2: Completing Your Self-Assessment Survey (SAS)
After you update your program profile you can choose to participate in the next step of the rating process by:
- Completing your Self-Assessment Survey and selecting the Great Start to Quality Program Quality Indicators that reflect what is currently true for your program.
Step 3: Upload Evidence Supporting Your Self-Assessment Survey
Based on the program quality indicators you select on your Self-Assessment Survey:
- You will need to upload and link documents to support those selections.
- Some of the required documents may be all in one document you upload. For example, a parent handbook may contain information that can serve as evidence for multiple indicators.
Step 4: Submit Your Self-Assessment Survey
Once you complete your Self-Assessment Survey and upload evidence to support your selections, you will be ready to submit and lock your Self-Assessment Survey.
Step 5: Maintaining and Improving Your Program Quality
After submitting your Self-Assessment Survey:
- You can begin creating a Quality Improvement Plan to help you maintain and improve your Star rating.
- Your Quality Improvement Plan within Great Start to Quality allows you to select the indicators you would like to work on.
- You can identify goals, strategies and action steps to help in your quality improvement efforts.
Step 6: Validation of Your Self-Assessment Survey
If your program is selected for validation after submitting your Self-Assessment Survey, you will be contacted by a Validator.
- Review of your Self-Assessment Survey and the documents you uploaded.
- A discussion with a Validator about your Self-Assessment Survey and documents. If there are any additional documents that need to be uploaded, you will be given a brief window of time after this discussion.
- A published rating is good for two years after the validation is complete. If your program receives a 4 or 5 Star validation, you will move on to the on-site Assessment step of the rating process.
- Receiving your validation results from a Quality Improvement Consultant from your local Great Start to Quality Resource Center. You can also see your validation results by looking at the "SAS to Validation report" on your Great Start to Quality STARS platform.
Step 7: On-site Assessment Using the Program Quality Assessment
Great Start to Quality uses the Program Quality Assessment (PQA) tools from the HighScope Educational Research Foundation for on-site assessments.
The PQA used for your program will be at least one of the following:
- The Infant-Toddler PQA
- The Preschool PQA
- The Family Child Care PQA
If you receive a 4 or 5 Star validation, you will be required to have an on-site assessment before you receive your published rating.
- You will be contacted by a member of the Great Start to Quality team to gather information and answer any of your questions.
- The on-site assessment is unannounced and unscheduled. The goal is to complete the assessment during a typical day at your program, so you have the chance to give a small number of dates you know will not be a typical day for you (i.e. field trip days).
- If you are not able to or choose not to have the on-site assessment completed at that time, you will be eligible to receive a 3 Star or Empty Star until you are ready to complete the process.
- After the assessment is complete, you will receive your results from a Quality Improvement consultant from your local Great Start to Quality Resource Center.
Step 8: Published Ratings
Once the rating process is complete:
- Your program will receive its published rating that appears on Great Start to Quality when families search for care.
- This rating is good for two years from the date you receive your published rating.
- You can see the published rating date in the published rating box on your program’s Self-Assessment Survey.
- If your program has made changes to improve your quality, you may apply for reassessment prior to your two-year anniversary date.