We have five-star ratings for restaurants and hotels . How about for early childhood education centers? The Missouri legislature has been asked to create the ratings system.
St. Joseph Senator Charlie Shields wants state accreditation of centers that educate Missouri children younger than five…with increased requirements for staffing and staff training as each new level is reached. He thinks it will cost eight million dollars a year to run the program.
The state has been running some pilot projects of the Quality Rating System. Project Director Kyle Matchell with the Mid-America Council in Kansas City says almost two thirds of the centers tested have improved by at least one star.
But critics such as Senator Scott Rupp of St. Charles say the ratings system will only drive up costs for the schools and the families that use them—and that means the state will have to increase its child care subsidy. The end result, he says, is that Shields’ eight-million dollar program will become a fifty-million dollar program–all because government decided to get into the certification business.
Some providers have told a Senate committee the test projects at their center have made things a lot better. Others complain the requirements for increased certification are onerous, invasive, and too expensive.