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Seeing Stars

The grade on children's programs in Barre, Montpelier and Waterbury

Published June 1, 2012 at 4:00 a.m.

Vermont's Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS) helps parents evaluate programs that care for their kids. Sponsored by the Child Development Division of the Vermont Department for Children and Families, STARS assigns star rankings to participating childcare, preschool and after school programs.

Programs must apply to receive a ranking.

The STARS coordinators consider applicants' qualifications, and operating policies, then assign them one to five stars. A single star means a program is new or examining its practices and working to improve them; a five-star ranking signifies that a program is established and outstanding in all areas.

Parents who meet the state's income eligibility guidelines may pay less for childcare if they enroll their children in programs with three, four or five stars.

Each month, Kids VT publishes an excerpt of the list of STARS participants. Find more information about STARS, a complete list of rankings and other childcare resources at

Shining Star: The Children's Early Learning Space

Tina Grant

Each month, Kids VT spotlights one five-star program from the featured geographical area.

Address: 397 Main Street, Suite 5, Waterbury, 244-5980

Type of program: Year-round child care center

Year opened: 1998. When the Ben and Jerry's child care center closed, some parents collaborated with center staff to establish what is now called The Children's Early Learning Space.

Age range of children: Six weeks to 5-years-old

Last field trip: Adam's Apple Orchard. The staff also organize weekly grocery shopping trips to the Village Market in Waterbury. Children make out the grocery list, help purchase the groceries and help put them away. 

Favorite rainy day activity: Obstacle course through a room.

Most recent staff development activity: Staffers began the day discussing two of the center's policies, and ended with a workshop about using sign language to communicate with infants and children.


Barre City Preschool
50 Parkside Terrace, 476-6541
5 stars

Barre Town Early Education Program
70 Websterville Road, 476-6617, ext. 6120
5 stars

BRVTC Kid Connection Preschool
155 Ayers Street, 477-5245
3 stars

Cabot Street Smiles Childcare
8 Cabot Street, 479-1373
2 stars

CVCAC Learning Together Center @Brook Street School
45 Brook Street, 476-8474
5 stars

Diann's Day Care
21 Clark Road, 476-2004
4 stars

The Golden Apple Preschool and Learning Center
18 Middle Road, 522-5554
1 star

Jack's Place
14 Nichols Street, 479-7144
3 stars

Jennifer Bassett
7 Stowe Street, 522-3997
2 stars

Lily Pad Children's Center
8 Circle Street, 479-1400
2 stars

Lily Pad Childen's Center-Infant Program
8 Circle Street, 479-1400
1 star

Olive Branch Child Care
527 Anderson Road, 476-7116
2 stars

Renee's Daycare
52 Websterville Road, 505-0516
3 stars

Saltire Child Care, LLC
8 Circle Street, 476-9199
1 star

Totz Town
23 Granview Drive, 476-3833
3 stars

Washington County Mental Health Services, dba New Leaf Family Center
260 Beckley Hill Street, 476-1480
5 stars


Capital Kids Day Camp
58 Barre Street, 223-5141
3 stars

The Family Center of Washington County Early Childhood Program
383 Sherwood Drive, 262-3292
4 stars

Turtle Island Children's Center
659 Elm Street, 229-4047
5 stars


Children's Early Learning Space
397 Main Street, suite 5, 244-5980
5 stars

Hunger Mountain Children's Center
4940 Waterbury-Stowe Road, 244-5544
4 stars

Kelly's Daybreak Childcare
11 Elm Street, 355-8281
1 star

Thatcher Brook Primary Preschool
47 Stowe Street, 244-7195
4 stars

Twin Peaks Child Care
298 Twin Peaks Road, 881-5151
1 star

Y School Age Program in Waterbury
Thatcher Brook Primary School,
7 Stowe Street, 862-9622
5 stars

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

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