Frequently Asked Questions

What is Texas Rising Star?

The Texas Rising Star program is a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) for child care programs participating in the Texas Workforce Commission’s (TWC) Child Care Services program. Texas Rising Star certification is available to licensed centers and licensed and registered child care home facilities that meet the certification criteria.

The Texas Rising Star program offers three levels of quality certification (Two-Star, Three-Star, and Four-Star) to encourage child care and early learning programs to attain progressively higher levels of quality. These certification levels are tied to graduated enhanced reimbursement rates for children receiving child care scholarships.


What is a Texas Rising Star-certified program?

A Texas Rising Star-certified program is an early learning program that has an agreement to provide Texas Workforce Commission (TWC)Child Care Services and meets requirements that exceed the State’s Child Care Regulation minimum standards, receiving a certification level of Two-, Three-, or Four-Star.


Is my child care and early learning program eligible to participate in Texas Rising Star?

Licensed centers, licensed home-based programs, registered home-based programs, and licensed school age programs are eligible to become Texas Rising Star certified if they meet certain eligibility criteria. Learn more about Texas Rising Star eligibility.


How can my child care and early learning program become Texas Rising Star-certified?

If you would like to request to become a Texas Rising Star-certified program, please review the information on Getting Ready to Assessment. Then, begin your certification process by submitting your Interest Form.


What are the Texas Rising Star Certification Guidelines?

These Guidelines are used to assess and provide technical assistance to early learning programs pursuing Texas Rising Star certification. The Guidelines contain criteria for director and staff qualifications and training, teacher-child interactions, program administration, and indoor/outdoor learning environments, and family involvement and education. Learn more about the Guidelines on the Texas Rising Star Guidelines tab.


How has the Texas Rising Star Guidelines evolved?

Over the last 40 years, Texas Rising Star has undergone numerous redevelopments and revisions. Throughout this process, many stakeholders participated in the redevelopment process for the revised Texas Rising Star Guidelines, as recently as 2019.  Learn more about the history of Texas Rising Star.


How can I find a Texas Rising Star-certified early learning program in my area?

The Texas Child Care Availability Portal helps match families that need child care with early learning programs that have available spots. While not all programs are Texas Rising Star-certified, Texas Rising Star-certified programs will show up higher on the search list. Parents can easily access information about early learning programs in their area that have current openings, which are updated on a weekly basis. In this portal, parents can also view:

  • Quality certifications and accreditations (Texas Rising Star-certified programs will have a unique indicator)
  • Available spots by age
  • Links to the program’s licensing safety and health inspection reports and history

Additionally, a list of all Texas Rising Star-certified early learning programs is updated regularly on this website. You can scroll through the alphabetical list of Texas Rising Star-certified early learning programs, which are listed by star level and board area. To confirm any early learning program’s certification, please contact your local workforce development board for more information.