Provider Services

Accreditation, Quality Recognition, & Credentials

Parents looking for child care are more attracted to accredited child care programs and providers with advanced credentials. Studies show that not only is the quality of care higher in these programs, but the child care givers are typically more satisfied with their work. These programs and providers may also be eligible for additional subsidy and grant programs, and in many cases are able to charge higher fees for the care.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Center Accreditation

The NAEYC Accreditation sets the standard in our industry for quality center-based care. A high quality child care center is defined as one that meets the needs of and promotes the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of the children and adults – parents, staff, and administrators – who are involved in the program. The Accreditation process involves 4 steps: Enrollment, Application, Candidacy, and Meet and Maintain the Standards.

For more information contact:
or call 1-800-424-2460.

You may also contact the Vermont AEYC Facilitated Accreditation program for support. Locally, call Shelley Henson at (802) 862-9622.

National Association for Family Child Care Accreditation

The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) accredits family child care homes that offer high quality child care services. The purpose of the Accreditation is to offer professional recognition and consumer distinction to those providers who meet these high standards of quality child care through their consistency and dedication. The Accreditation is intended for those providers who not only meet the child care standards defined by state licensing and registration agencies, but have demonstrated a commitment to reach beyond these minimum requirements to achieve standards of excellence.

For more information contact:
or call 1-800-359-3817. 

Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS)

STARS is Vermont’s quality recognition system for child care, preschool, and afterschool programs. Programs that participate in STARS are stepping ahead – going above and beyond state regulations to provide professional services that meet the needs of children and families.

The Child Development Division contracts with coordinators to administer STARS and provide technical assistance to applicants.

If you have any questions about STARS or the application process, contact the STARS coordinators at (802) 388-2853 or Or you may call the Child Development Division at 1-800-649-2642 and visit the website: STARS program.

Child Development Associate (CDA)

The CDA is a nationally recognized credential for both center based and family child care providers. This on-the-job program recognizes the skills of the experienced provider and gives additional training to the new provider. Individuals in Vermont with a CDA may qualify for Director or staff positions in a center. Family Child Care providers become more attractive to parents looking for care and therefore are able to charge slightly higher rates for that care. Providers also qualify to receive a bonus through the Child Development Division upon achieving their CDA credential. 


Vermont Child Care Apprenticeship Program

This program offers caregivers the chance to apprentice in an accredited program under the supervision of an experienced, trained mentor. You will take college level courses, receive on the job training and an increase in your salary as you move through this program. Funded through a grant from the United States Department of Labor and the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, its purpose is to create a supply of stable, high quality child care programs.

If you are interested in learning more about this program, call Sue Ryan at (802) 660-2914 or visit

Northern Lights Career Development

Northern Lights Career Development has created many credentials for early childhood and school age care practitioners. Please visit Northern Lights and click on credentials for more information.


Need help finding the best care for your child? Call a Referral Specialist today! 802.863.3367