Bethel Lutheran Church (BLC)
TLC Center BLC utilizes a portion of the building owned by the Bethel Lutheran Church at 1900 23rd St NW Great Falls, MT 59404.
Owner: Elizabeth Olson
Director: Shalee Smith
Assistant Director: Madison Ameline
TLC Center BLC has assessed with the Stars to Quality Program in February 2022.
The scores are as follows:
PAS (Program Administrative Scale): 5.47
ECERS (Older classrooms) 4.74
ITERS (Younger Classrooms) 4.31
We will officially be awarded a Star Level 3 in June 2022.
What is STARS?
The Best Beginnings STARS to Quality Program is a voluntary quality rating and improvement system that aligns quality indicators with support and incentives for early childhood programs and early childhood professionals. The Early Childhood Services Bureau has enjoyed watching the program grow and develop with the input from the various stakeholders, and has listened carefully to early childhood professionals, parents, and national experts to provide a strong program, desired by many.
STARS has several components:
- Workforce Development
- Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)
- Infrastructure to administer the programs, provide training , coaching, and technical assistance, and to validate the STARS system
TLC GFC is working towards becoming Nationally Accredited through the NAEYC.
For more information on what accreditation is please visit the NAEYC Website.
What are the requirements our program had to meet to become a Star Level Three?
• Professional Development and Practitioner Registry status requirements at this level are required
for employees working more than 1040 hours annually or working a minimum of 20 hours per
• An Assessor will be visiting the facility at this level.
• Must meet all criteria for STAR 1 and STAR 2, along with the following:
Education, Qualifications & Training (EQT)
EQT 1: Director (DIR) current on the Practitioner Registry at Level 3 or higher.
EQT 1: 50% of teaching staff (ECLT, ECAT) are current at Level 2 or higher on the Practitioner Registry
STAR 3 Professional Development
Certified Infant Toddler Caregiver Course (CITC) (60 hours)
EQT 2: Lead Teachers (ECLT) caring for infants and/or toddlers must be enrolled in (which is defined as currently taking the
course or beginning the course in the quarter following application for STAR 3) or have completed the 60-hour course or its
equivalent. It is available through the CCR&R, UM-Western, Dawson Community College, Salish Kootenai College, or Flathead
Valley Community College.
Certified Preschool Teacher Course (CPTC) (60 hours)
EQT 3: Lead Teachers (ECLT) caring for ages 2 and up must be enrolled in (which is defined as currently taking the course or
beginning the course in the quarter following application for STAR 3) or have completed the 60-hour course or its equivalent.
It is available through the CCR&R.
• This course can be waived if an individual is a Level 4 or higher on the Practitioner Registry. If an individual is
enrolled in college courses or the MT Apprenticeship program that will result in becoming a Level 4 on the
Practitioner Registry within 2 years of application for STAR 3, this course can be waived.
• This course can be waived if the Introduction to Early Childhood college-level course has been successfully completed
with the grade of a C or higher.
• If a program only serves ages 2 and up, they need to consider the developmental levels of the children in their care. As
a result, a program may want to consider sending some staff to the Infant Toddler course, and some staff to the
Preschool course. Documentation that includes rationale for this decision must be submitted for approval prior to
application for STAR 3.
Pyramid Model Trainings (6 hours)
EQT 4: E-Pyramid Birth-5 Module 2 (6 hours): (Prerequisite Introduction and Montana Blended Module 1 or E-Pyramid
Birth-5 Module 1) Director (DIR) and all teaching staff (ECLT, ECAT) must complete this course. It is available throughthe
Montana Early Childhood Project, Statewide Training Calendar.
Developmental Screening: Develop a process to identify & support individual child development,
promote family engagement, & enhance program quality (4 hours)
EQT 5: Developmental Screening Course: Director (DIR) and all lead teaching staff (ECLT) must complete this course. It is
available online at ChildCareTraining.org.
Family/Community Partnerships (FCP)
FCP 1: The program provides families with information regarding community resources. Examples of community resources
may include: Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, public library, city recreation department, housing authority, parent
resource center, public health clinic, hospital, public schools, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Office of Public Assistance,
county health department, family support agency, early intervention organizations such as: Hi-Line Home Programs, Inc.,
Developmental Educational Assistance Program (DEAP), Quality Life Concepts (QLC), Support & Techniques for Empowering
For more information on the requirements for each Star Level please see: