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 an applicant 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. This month's issue features the listings from Grand Isle County. Find more information about STARS, a complete list of rankings and other childcare resources at dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/stars.
13 Academy Street, Alburgh, 796-4180
Type of program: In-home childcare. The program follows a curriculum, but owner/instructor Cheryl Wells takes theme suggestions from the kids.
Year opened: 1997
Age range of children: 1 - to 11 years
Last field trip: Granby Zoo in Québec, Canada. All the children and their parents went. "It was a great day; we still talk about it," says Wells. "But some of the current families don't want their children transported, so we're not doing field trips right now."
Favorite outdoor activity: Broom ball. "I hit the balls from one end of the deck to the other and the children try to avoid them," says Wells. "They always want to play that when we go outside."
Favorite rainy-day activity: Read a book and make projects using supplies from the "barney" box — a container full of fabric, stickers, yarn, buttons and other crafting materials.
Favorite book: I Stink! by Kate and Jim McMullan. "The children really get involved while I'm reading it," says Wells.
Favorite visitor: Peggy Rainville from Start With the Arts. "She came into our program and read to us every week, and did projects," says Wells. "We really enjoyed it."
Aunt Bee's Childcare
26 Haylde Road, Alburgh, 309-0209
Champlain Islands Parent Child Center — South
114 South Street, Unit 2, South Hero, 372-4704
3 Canamak Drive, Grand Isle, 372-4501
Lakeside Surprises Child Care
62B South Main Street, Alburgh, 796-3799
12 John Stark Road, South Hero, 372-3930
7 North Main Street, Alburgh, 796-3438
Rousseau's Rug Rats
179 Martell Road, Alburgh, 796-3440
West Shore Child Care
355 West Shore Road, Alburgh, 796-4019