Quality Start Louisiana


Quality Start: What’s In It For You?

Of course, the ones who will benefit the most from Quality Start are the children. But there’s a lot in it for you too. Here are the top five incentives for joining Quality Start:

  • The SRTC Tax Credits
  • Louisiana Pathways Scholarships
  • CCR&R Technical Assistance
  • Child Care Mental Health Consultations
  • CCAP Bonuses

SRTC Tax Credits

Child care providers participating in Quality Start will receive a refundable tax credit based on the number of stars they earn and on the number of children they serve in the Child Care Assistance Program or children in foster care. The School Readiness Tax Credits are designed to help promote the quality of child care in Louisiana. Everybody wins – the centers, the parents and especially the children.

Louisiana Pathways Scholarships

As a member of Louisiana Pathways, your center can offer its staff a significant advantage in continuing education. Louisiana Pathways scholarships can benefit staff career advancement as well as improving the overall quality of your center.

CCR&R Technical Assistance

The Louisiana Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (LACCRRA) works with the regional DCFS funded Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&R) to support and coordinate services. Services offered by these groups include consumer education and referrals to child care, data collection, training of child care providers, technical assistance, and advocacy.

Child Care Mental Health Consultations

Mental health consultation is an innovative approach to supporting the healthy development of young children. The duties of the Mental Health Consultant are tailored to meet the needs of the child care center staff, including assisting caregivers in promoting healthy development, helping centers establish linkages with other agencies as well as referral sources for children with special needs, and providing proactive coaching on techniques designed to prevent the development of problematic behavior.

CCAP Bonuses

The Quality Start Child Care Rating System is a voluntary program consisting of five star rating levels that can be earned by a licensed child care center. Quality Start uses licensing as the foundation and has four star levels above Louisiana’s licensing standards. Licensed Class A and Class B child care centers are eligible to earn stars; however, only Class A centers participating in the Child Care Assistance Program or care for foster children whose care is paid for by the Office of Community Services (OCS) are eligible to receive tiered bonus payments.

Tiered bonus payments will be automatically issued after the end of each calendar quarter to qualified Class A child care centers that have earned a star rating and that care for children receiving assistance from the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) in accordance with the star level rating(s) for that quarter. The payment is equal to a percentage of all CCAP payments made to the licensed Class A center for services provided during the prior calendar quarter as defined below:

  • One Star Level – 0 percent
  • Two Star Level – 3 percent bonus
  • Three Star Level – 8 percent bonus
  • Four Star Level – 13.5 percent bonus
  • Five Star Level – 20 percent bonus

To qualify for a tiered bonus payment, a licensed Class A provider must meet the criteria for and have earned two or more stars. Tiered bonus payments can be made while a provider is disqualified as long as the service was provided during a period when the provider was not disqualified.

Getting Started Is Easy.

Centers interested in participating in Quality Start must first earn a one-star rating by completing an application for participation in Quality Start and submitting the application along with a copy of the center’s current Class A license and completed W-9 to the address below. If the provider owns more than one licensed center, an application must be completed and submitted for each center that wishes to participate in Quality Start. Information explaining the process for participation in Quality Start and how to obtain an application may be obtained from the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) website at www.dcfs.state.la.us or from one of the DCFS contracted Resource and Referral Agencies.

Find a Center
Tax Credits
Online Applications

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