Frequently Asked Questions about WV STARS
- How do I apply for WV STARS?
- How do I contact someone about WV STARS?
- Who should register for WV STARS?
- What are the benefits?
- I have never written a resume before, what information is needed on my professional resume?
- I didn't send in documentation with my application, what do I do now?
- Where do I find my Registry Identification Number?
- Where do I find my renewal date?
- Why do I have to pay a fee to apply?
- I received my barcode stickers and approval letter; why didn't I receive my certificate?
- I received my Career Pathway Credential, what do I do now?
- Where can I get barcode stickers?
- I lost my certificate; how can I get another one?
- How do I access the list of trainings I have attended?
- I can't access my record online; it won't accept my login information.
- Why aren't trainings on my record?
- I attended a training yesterday. How long will it take to show up on my record?
- I am a director of a licensed child care center, how do I find out WV STARS information on my staff?
- I previously had a Career Pathway Credential, but I let it expire. What do I do now?
- I attended ACDS (Apprenticeship for Child Development Specialist) program. Why aren't all of my ACDS semesters listed on my training record?
- I have recently been contacted by an organization that provides online training hours. Does this training count?
- How can presenters access a list of trainings they have presented?
- I received a letter stating that I am not eligible to receive a credential and I don't believe this is right, what do I do?
I believe what you are referring to is applying for the Career Pathway Credential issued by WV STARS. To apply for the credential, you must submit an application either online or mail. With the documentation, you need to submit a non-refundable processing fee for $15, a clear copy of a document that shows your highest level of education, and a current resume listing your experience in the field of early care and education.
Within a week of applying, you should receive information regarding the status of your application. If approved, you will receive a packet containing information about your credential. You may possibly receive a feedback letter requesting additional information so your application can be approved.
Professionals working with the WV STARS Program can be reached by phone at 304-522-7827 or 855-822-7827. You can also send an e-mail message to email@example.com. All written information can be mailed to 611 7th Ave, Suite 322 Huntington, WV 25701. Information regarding WV STARS including applications and forms can be accessed online at www.wvearlychildhood.org/WV_Stars.
WV STARS is available for all early care and education practitioners working with or on behalf of children ages birth to eight in a variety of settings (child care centers, private and public preschools, Head Start, family child care homes and facilities, early intervention, school aged child care, parent education programs, regulatory agencies, and others).
Once approved on the Career Pathway, participants will receive a credential that shows the Career Pathway Level. This level is based on their education (both formal and informal) as well as experience. Having a Career Pathway Credential presents a professional image to parents and employers by showing that the individual views their position as a career and is interested in continued learning to grow in that career. Along with the credential, Career Pathway participants also have access to their WV STARS Professional Development Record, a transcript that lists all WV STARS Registered Training taken while the participant holds an active Career Pathway Credential. This record assists early childhood practitioners in keeping up with their training requirements and setting goals for professional development.
Not only does participation on the Career Pathway benefit providers on an individual level, but it also benefits the early care and education workforce in West Virginia. WV STARS has the capability of gathering and providing information about the education, experience, employment, and training in the early care and education field. Reports that have been provided for policy makers in the past have included reports showing the levels of education and experience of participants working in various programs across the state and information about training being offered in different regions.
The resume submitted with your applications is used to verify your experience working in the field of early care and education. In order to verify this information accurately, the resume you submit must contain the following information: employer name, position title, dates of employment (with the month and year of the date of hire and the month and year of the date left, i.e. August 2007-January 2009), and some job duties of the position. If you need some additional help in writing a resume, you can look at two sample resumes on the WV STARS website or contact the WV STARS office for assistance.
If you submitted an incomplete Career Pathway Application or an application without all of the required documentation and fee, your application will probably be returned to you with a form indicating the information that was incomplete. Once that information has been completed, you may resubmit the application to WV STARS.
If the application was initially accepted for processing, but some additional information is needed you will receive a written feedback as to why your application has not been approved. You are given the opportunity to complete the application process by sending in the requested information by the deadline date given. If you fail to submit the information by the deadline date, your application will be cancelled and you will have to reapply for your credential. If you failed to submit a fee within the deadline and the application was cancelled, you will be required to reapply and submit the current processing fee along with the previous unpaid fee.
Your Registry Identification Number is the number assigned to you by WV STARS when you originally apply for the Career Pathway Credential. You will first receive the Registry Identification Number when you are notified about the status of your Career Pathway Application. The Registry Identification Number will also be listed on your Career Pathway Credential, your barcode stickers and your participant card.
Once approved for a Career Pathway Credential, you will be assigned a renewal date which is three years after the date your application was received. This date will be listed on your participant card and your Career Pathway Credential.
The fee required for the Career Pathway Application and Career Pathway Renewal Application is a non-refundable processing fee. The fee is used to provide funding to cover the cost of processing your application. If WV STARS processed your application, even if your application was not approved and your credential was not awarded, the fee was used. If you failed to submit a fee with one application and the application was not approved, you will be required to reapply and submit the current processing fee along with the previous unpaid fee.
Please be assured that WV STARS is a non-profit program. All of the money submitted to the program is used to manage and operate the program.
The actual certificate signifying your Career Pathway Credential is printed monthly and sent off to the Governor's office for the Governor's signature. After the certificates are received back from the Governor's office, WV STARS will forward the certificate on to you. It typically takes between three to six weeks to receive the certificate after your credential has been approved.
Please note that as soon as you receive the approval packet with your barcode stickers, you can begin taking training under your credential; you do not need to wait until you receive the certificate.
Your Career Pathway Credential is active for three years. During that time, you are expected to continue your training, education and experience. At the end of the three year period, you will need to renew your Career Pathway Credential by demonstrating that you meet one of the four renewal requirements:
- Completed and/or taught at least three college credit semester hours during the past three years that can be linked to WV Core Knowledge and Core Competencies.
- Completed and/or provided 45 contact hours (4.5 CEUs) of training that can be linked to WV Core Knowledge and Core Competencies in the past three years. WV STARS Registered Training must account for a minimum of 30 hours of the 45 required hours. WV STARS can consider a maximum of 15 hours of training that is not WV STARS Registered towards renewal.
- Completed and/or taught at least one semester of the Apprenticeship for Child Development Specialists (ACDS) program.
- Meets requirements to advance a level on the Career Pathway.
You will be expected to renew your credential by the renewal date indicated by submitting either a Career Pathway Renewal Application or a Career Pathway Level Advancement Application.
WV STARS encourages participants to apply to renew or advance their Career Pathway Credential as soon as the requirement is met. You do not need to wait until the renewal date to renew your credential.
If you have an active Career Pathway Credential, you should have received a sheet of barcode stickers in your approval packet. If you have used that sheet and need to request more, you can do so by submitting a written request with a payment of $3 to WV STARS.
To avoid the cost of having your barcode stickers reprinted, you are welcome to print copies of your barcode stickers. As long as the copy is clear, participants can copy their own barcode stickers onto blank address labels (Avery #5160).
You can receive another copy of your certificate indicating your Career Pathway Credential. To receive a replacement certificate, please submit a request with a $10 reprinting fee to WV STARS. Like the original certificate, the replacement certificates are printed monthly and sent to the Governor's office for the Governor's signature. After receiving the certificate from the Governor's office, the replacement certificate will be sent to you. This process typically takes between three to six weeks after the request was received.
To access and/or print your individual professional development record, use the following steps:
- Go to the website for WV Early Childhood Training Connections and Resources, www.wvearlychildhood.org.
- On the top toolbar of the screen, locate the button labeled "WV STARS". Hold your cursor over this item and click to open the WV STARS web page.
- When you are on the WV STARS page, locate the "STARS Professional Development Record" button on the left hand side of the page. Hold your cursor over this item and click to open the STARS Professional Development Record web page.
- Sign in by using your WV STARS Registry ID number for your Username and Password.
- For security purposes, please change your password immediately.
- View and print your Professional Development Record at your convenience.
Please note that only individuals with an active Career Pathway Credential can access the Professional Development Record. If you applied and were not approved for a credential or you held a credential previously but it has expired, you cannot access your record online. However, you can contact the WV STARS office to request a record.
If you believe that you do possess an active Career Pathway Credential, you may have changed your password. If you cannot remember your password or the login still does not work, contact the WV STARS office for assistance.
If WV STARS has not yet tracked any training events for you, you will not be able to access the record.
The training information on your record will only be WV STARS Registered Training that you have taken while your Career Pathway Credential is active. If the training you have taken was before you applied or after your credential has expired, your training will not be on your record.
You can always submit copies of Certificates of Training Attendance that you received at the training to WV STARS. Once received, the certificates will be reviewed to determine whether the training information can be added to your record.
WV STARS receives notice that you attend WV STARS Registered Trainings by the submitted WV STARS Registered Training Sign-In Sheet. If you used the correct procedures when signing-in (by writing your name and Registry Identification Number or using your barcode sticker) your training will be tracked directly from the sign-in sheet. The trainer is responsible for sending the sign-in sheet to WV STARS and must do so within 30 days of the training. WV STARS will process the sign-in sheet in a timely manner, which is typically one to two weeks after the form is received.
If you need training information to be added to your training record immediately, you may submit a copy of the Certificate of Training Attendance to WV STARS.
WV STARS Confidentiality Policy has recently changed. Under the new policy, you will be able to inquire about and receive information regarding your staff. To do so, you can contact WV STARS and provide a list of individuals as well as what information you are requesting. Once received, WV STARS staff will respond to your request as soon as possible to provide you with the information.
Some WV STARS participants have decided not to allow outside parties to have access to their WV STARS information. Without receiving a written release from the participant, WV STARS staff will not be able to provide any information. This release form can be found on our website. As always, any participant is encouraged to contact the WV STARS office to access their information so you could have the staff contact WV STARS directly for the information.
Though information about an individual's application or credentials may be shared, no personal information which may affect the safety or well-being of that individual will be released. This includes Social Security Number, date of birth, or personal address.
If you did not renew your Career Pathway Credential by the renewal date, your Career Pathway Credential has expired and is no longer active. You have six months to renew your credential by submitting a Career Pathway Renewal Application or a Career Pathway Level Advancement Application. Please remember that your credential is not active and WV STARS has not been tracking your training attendance for you.
If you fail to renew your credential, either because you did not submit the appropriate application and documentation or you did not meet renewal requirements, within six months of the renewal date you will have to reapply for a Career Pathway Credential. You will need to submit a new Career pathway Application, processing fee and required documentation. Please note that if you previously held a Career Pathway Credential and are reapplying, you will still have to demonstrate that you have met one of the four renewal requirements. You will not be able to "start over" without completing the required professional development.
ACDS semesters and other training taken before the Career Pathway Credential was awarded will not be reflected on your record. If you completed some semesters of ACDS before applying and submitted your semester completion certificate with your application, your completed semesters would have been considered when awarding your Career Pathway Level.
If you had a Career Pathway Credential while attending ACDS and it is not on the record, please contact the WV STARS office. Your record and information can be reviewed so that your record is accurate.
Currently, only training hours from one online training organization, Child Care Education Institute, can be considered for training from outside sources. This training is not WV STARS Registered Training but can be used towards renewal.
When you are applying for renewal of your WV STARS Career Pathway Credential based on completing 45 clock hours of training, a minimum of 30 clock hours must WV STARS Registered Training. Up to 15 clock hours can be used from outside training sources that are not WV STARS Registered towards the 45 clock hours needed for renewal. The 15 hours that can be used towards renewal will not be reflected on your Professional Development Record.
To demonstrate that you have attended the training from outside sources, you must submit either a certificate of attendance or a CEU reporting form that includes the following information: training title, date of completion, total clock hours of training, and a signature of the trainer/supervisor verifying attendance. All training hours from outside training sources used towards renewal must be linked with the West Virginia Core Knowledge and Core Competencies and must meet approval requirements through WV STARS.
Presenters can receive a list of trainings they have presented by contacting the WV STARS office. This record can be e-mailed or mailed to presenters at no cost.
Any registry participant or applicant is welcome to express a concern if not satisfied with services provided by WV STARS. Individuals are asked to attempt to resolve all concerns informally by contacting WV STARS to discuss the concerns or for further policy clarification. The Professional Development and Collaboration Specialist will address any concern brought to WV STARS in a timely, respectful, and honest manner which may include consulting with the Director of WVECTCR.
If, at that time, an individual believes that Professional Development and Collaboration Specialist and/or Director of WVECTCR are unwilling or unable to resolve issues in a satisfactory manner, an individual may then follow through with the appeal process.
In the event an individual: a) is not accepted for registration on the Career Pathway, b) is registered on the Career Pathway at a level with which the participant disagrees, c) is not accepted as an approved trainer, d) is accepted as an approved trainer at a level with which the participant disagrees, the individual may file a formal appeal by following the steps outlined below.
The individual may request a review of the action taken by submitting a written request of appeal within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of written notification of the action.
- The written request of appeal must be presented in the following format:
Name of Petitioner: ___________________________________
Address of Petitioner: _________________________________
Phone Number of Petitioner: ___________________________
- I am petitioning the decision made by WV STARS regarding (state the action the petitioner finds objectionable and date that action was taken).
- I am requesting the WV STARS Policy Advisory Council review this action because: (state the reasons petitioner thinks the action taken was unacceptable). I am requesting that (state the relief desired).
- Signature of Petitioner: ________________ Date: _________
- The written request must be sent to:
WV STARS Policy Advisory Council
c/o WV STARS
611 7th Avenue, Suite 322
Huntington, WV 25701
All members of WV STARS Policy Advisory Council will receive the appeal with relevant information pertaining to the appeal from WV STARS within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of the written request.
At the next regularly scheduled WV STARS Policy Advisory Council Meeting, the WV STARS Policy Advisory Council will review all the facts and render a written response that will be submitted to the petitioner and WV STARS. All decisions made by WV STARS Policy Advisory Council regarding the appeal will be final and binding.