Best Beginnings STARS to Quality

 STARS to Quality is currently in a Redesign phase and is not currently accepting new applications. The rebuilt Quality Recognition System (QRS) has a projected launch date of October 1, 2025. Quality resources can still be accessed through this website. STARS Trainings continue to be free and accessible.


Welcome to the Best Beginnings STARS to Quality Program, a
continuous quality improvement program for early childhood education in Montana

Mission and Vision of STARS

Mission: To support high quality early care and education programs for child care and education through a quality rating and improvement system that strengthens programs and practitioners with continuous improvement strategies and assists families to make informed decisions.

Vision: A quality rating improvement system to support early childhood education programs in continuous quality improvement.

Find quality child care


Offer quality child care


What is STARS?

The Best Beginnings STARS to Quality Program is a voluntary quality rating and improvement system that aligns quality indicators with support and incentives for early childhood programs and early childhood professionals. The Early Childhood Services Bureau has enjoyed watching the program grow and develop with the input from the various stakeholders, and has listened carefully to early childhood professionals, parents, and national experts to provide a strong program, desired by many.

STARS has several components:

  1. Workforce Development
  2. Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)
  3. Infrastructure to administer the programs, provide training , coaching, and technical assistance, and to validate the STARS system