Share story

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s Division of Child Care says nearly half the state’s child-care providers are highly ranked by the state’s quality rating system.

State officials say the milestone is the result of an initiative backed by a federal grant awarded in 2014. Its purpose is to ensure children have access to high-quality child care.

The grant helped develop an expanded five-star quality rating and improvement system for early care and education programs. The tiered system is required for all publicly funded programs serving young children in Kentucky, including licensed child care programs, certified family child care homes and state-funded preschools and Head Start programs.

As part of the grant, one of Kentucky’s goals was to support 45 percent of all licensed and certified providers toward achieving high quality. Kentucky met this goal recently.