Find quality-rated child care

Arkansas.gov logo 100x25 white

Parents & Families

Reach for the Stars

Enthusiasm and encouragement from teachers can make children feel like they can reach for the stars. In that same spirit, we’re introducing a new theme to help motivate and encourage you to Reach for the Stars!

So, why “Reach for the Stars?”

Better Beginnings always has and will continue to focus on increasing quality care and ensuring that all children in Arkansas have access to quality care. Our star levels are indicators of quality for those searching for child care. We encourage providers to partner with us this year as they continue their quality journey. Whether they’re aiming for a new star level or working to maintain their current level, we’re here to help.

How can you encourage your child care provider to ‘Reach for the Stars’?  Find out what star level they are. If they’re not a Better Beginnings provider or if they still have another star level to reach, ask if there’s any way you can help.

You can “Reach for the Stars” at home, too! As your child’s first teacher, you can extend their learning outside the classroom. Additional at-home learning helps create a strong foundation that will help them be successful in school and life. Keep reading for ways you can extend your child’s learning.

Provider Star Information & Requirements

Learn more about provider requirements and star ratings

Family Resource Library

Children learn best through play. When you join in the fun, they learn so much more. The activities in our Family Resource Library are great for the whole family and won’t break the budget. Through these activities, learning is extended outside the classroom and a strong foundation is built for lifelong learning.

Learn More

Family Buzz Newsletter

Receive resources to extend learning each month in your inbox! These resources, based on a monthly educational theme, provide age-appropriate activities to build literacy, science and math skills. You’ll also find helpful tips for dealing with difficult behaviors or find services to help you and your children.

Explore Previous Newsletters

Frenquently Asked Questions

Better Beginnings, a program of the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS), connects Arkansas families with information and child care that helps their children experience a safe, happy, healthy childhood. Better Beginnings also gives Arkansas child care providers valuable tools for improving the quality of their programs at every level.

Better Beginnings is designed to improve the level of quality in child care and early childhood education programs across the state. Better Beginnings distinguishes the quality of each Arkansas child care facility by a 1, 2 and 3-star rating system.

The Better Beginnings staff works with child care and early childhood education providers to train their staff to build a better learning environment. Requirements include administrator and staff training, facility evaluation, curriculum and activities for strengthening families.

To begin the search for child care and early childhood education in a community, families can use the Find Child Care tool on ARBetterBeginnings.com. This tool shows all licensed providers in the state, but uses the star-rating system to emphasize Better Beginnings programs.

Better Beginnings is available to family child care homes, centers and school-age programs.  

Better Beginnings places an emphasis on preparing children for kindergarten and the bright future ahead of them. Better Beginnings provides curriculum based on the early learning and development guidelines of math, science and literacy.