Quality Child Care Accreditations and Certifications


Some child care programs choose to strive for a higher level of operating standards and seek accreditation.

There are several national professional organizations which promote high quality standards in early childhood education:

National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA)

National Accreditation Commission for Early Child Care and Education (NAC)

National Association of Family Child Care Accreditation (NAFCC)

Council of Accreditation (COA)

Cognia Quality Early Learning Standards (QELS)

Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI)

Early Head Start and/or Head Start Programs regulated by CCR


The Texas Rising Star program is “a voluntary, quality-based child care rating system of child care providers participating in the Texas Workforce Commission’s (TWC) subsidized child care program.” Texas Rising Star certification is available to Licensed Center and Licensed and Registered Child Care Home providers who meet the certification criteria. The Texas Rising Star certification system offers three levels of certification (Two-Star, Three-Star and Four-Star) to encourage child care programs to attain progressively higher certification requirements leading to a Four-Star level.

A Texas Rising Star provider is a child care program that has an agreement to serve TWC-subsidized children and that voluntarily meets requirements that exceed the State’s Child Care Regulation’s Licensing Minimum Standards.

Across Texas, parents and families enroll their children into child care programs, including center-based and home-based programs. Numerous research studies have shown that at-risk children who attend higher quality child care programs are more prepared for school entry than children who do not attend quality child care programs.

Those child care programs that voluntarily achieve Texas Rising Star certification, offering quality care that exceeds the State’s Minimum Standards for director and staff qualifications, teacher-child interactions, program administration, indoor/outdoor learning environments, and family involvement and education, are in a better position to contribute to the early development of children. As child care programs progress through the levels of Texas Rising Star certification, they contribute progressively more to the development of the children they serve on a daily basis.