About Texas Rising Star Providers


The Texas Rising Star program is “a voluntary, quality-based child care rating system of child care providers participating in the Texas Workforce Commission’s subsidized child care program.” TRS Certification is available to Licensed Center and Licensed and Registered Child Care Home providers who meet the certification criteria. The TRS Provider certification system offers three levels of certification (Two-Star, Three-Star, and Four-Star) to encourage providers to attain progressively higher certification requirements leading to a Four-Star level.

A Texas Rising Star (TRS) provider is a child care provider that has an agreement to serve Texas Workforce Commission (TWC)-subsidized children and that voluntarily meets requirements that exceed the State’s Minimum Child Care Licensing (CCL) Standards.
The TRS criteria looks at the overall operation of the facility and the experiences provided for children while in care. The criteria include meeting the following requirements:
  • Compliance with DFPS licensing
  • Qualifications for directors and caregivers
  • Staff orientation and training
  • Smaller than minimum standard group sizes
  • Written program goals and objectives for curriculum and lesson plans
  • Positive caregiver/child interactions
  • Appropriate indoor and outdoor environments and materials
  • Offer nutritious meals and snacks and practice age appropriate meal time routines
  • Encourage parent involvement
The benefits to being a Texas Rising Star Provider include:
  • TRS providers offer a higher quality of care, which benefits children and families and may ultimately promote their program.
  • Child Protective Services (CPS) requires that CPS children be placed only with TRS providers.
  • TRS providers are eligible for higher reimbursement rates from CCA.
Providers interested in the TRS program should contact Provider Services at Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas at 903-794-8999.
TRS Star Levels

The Texas Rising Star program includes three levels of quality designation—2-star, 3-star, and 4-star. Prior to 2015, Texas Rising Star used a metric of “met/not met” to determine star level ratings. Based on the recommendations of the TRS workgroup, the 2015 TRS guidelines establish:
  • “met” or “not met” measures required at the 2-star level; and
  • points-based measures scored on a scale of 0–3 points that may lift a provider to the 3- and 4-star levels.
If a provider meets all the required measures for the 2-star level, the score of the points-based measures will determine the star level for each category. Points-based measures are scored, and points awarded for them, through on-site assessments.

Each category of the certification criteria is given a star level rating based on the average score across all points-based measures in that category (see on the following page). A provider’s overall star designation is based on the lowest star level achieved across the five categories. The rationale for this scoring protocol is to ensure the provider meets higher quality standards across measures in all categories.

Example: If a provider scores at a 4-star level in two categories, a 3-star level in one category, and a 2-star level in two categories, the provider would be certified as a 2-star provider.

The score for a points-based measure in which multiple classrooms are assessed is based on the median score of the classrooms. The methodology for determining the star level of a category is based on the provider’s average score across all measures of a category:
  • 3-Star – average score is 1.80 to 2.39 (60–79.9 percent of total points)
  • 4-Star – average score is 2.4 or greater than 2.4 (80 percent of total points)

Finally, if a single classroom scores below the threshold for a 3-star level, the provider cannot be certified as a 4-star provider.

Enhanced Reimbursements for Star Level Rating

Texas Government Code §2308.315 mandates that the minimum reimbursement rate for a TRS provider must be greater than the maximum rate established for a provider that is not TRS certified for the same category of care, i.e., at least:
  • 5 percent higher for a provider with a 2-star rating;
  • 10 percent higher for a provider with a 3-star rating; and
  • 15 percent higher for a provider with a 4-star rating.