BrightStars Steering & Advisory Committee

Statement of Purpose

The BrightStars Advisory Committee works in a public-private partnership to build a strong foundation for Rhode Island’s Quality Rating and Improvement System and the programs and public and non-public schools participating across the quality continuum. The BrightStars Advisory Committee will review proposals for change from stakeholders to BrightStars standards or policy. The Advisory Committee is directly responsible for ensuring any proposed changes to the framework are based in research, best practice, and ensuring it is best for the children in Rhode Island. They are an integral vote on the Steering Committee, who needs to approve all changes in any QRIS-related framework.

The BrightStars Steering Committee is comprised of representatives from the RI Department of Human Services, the RI Department of Education, the Governor’s Office and RIAEYC. The BrightStars Steering Committee will consider recommendations from the BrightStars Advisory Committee and make final decisions on all changes or modifications to BrightStars standards or policies.

Members of the committee guide and assist BrightStars’ on-going work by:

  • Review participating data and outcomes
  • Receive, research and consider implementation of revisions for strengthening the BrightStars frameworks
  • Maintain relationships with national advocacy groups, foundations and other states for sharing best practices
  • Identify key strategies focused on continuous quality improvements for participating BrightStars programs and schools
  • Represent the voice of the communities that BrightStars serves
  • Spread  the word that quality matters for children

The group is composed of a respected community and early care and education leaders.

BrightStars Advisory Committee Goals

  1. To introduce an overall governance framework for RIAEYC to solicit and review proposals to modify and/or strengthen the QRIS framework
  2. To maintain an effective and evidence-informed framework for measuring quality in RI’s mixed-delivery early childhood system, leveraging child- and classroom-level outcomes related to program growth and quality improvement.
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Members of the committee guide and assist BrightStars’ on-going work by:

  • Reviewing BrightStars’ participating data and outcomes.
  • Suggesting improvements to BrightStars operations based on shared data.
  • Sharing a voice of the community that BrightStars serves.
  • Spreading  the word that quality matters for children
  • Being an active participant in implementing BrightStars standards.


The group is composed of a respected community & early care/education leaders.

Name: Email: Affiliation:
Leanne C. Barrett Advocate
Sarah Nardolillo State
Ruth Gallucci State
Brenda Potter TA
Khadija Lewis Khan Provider
Lori Wagner Provider
Amy Vogel Provider
Dulari Tahbildar TA
Mary Varr Provider
Lauren Bush Provider
Emily Squillante Provider
Theresa Spengler Provider
Sabrina Uribe Ruggiero Provider
Kerry Gallup Provider
Hyunjin Kim Higher Ed
Carol Patnauade Higher Ed
Rosemary Raygada Higher Ed
Zoe McGrath State
Lisa Hildebrand TA
Alyson Panzarella TA
Joyce Laramee Provider
Diane Nelson Provider
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Previous Meeting Materials

Beginning August 2021, the BrightStars Advisory Committee began soliciting feedback and proposals from child care providers and the general public. Each proposal will be thoroughly reviewed by the BrightStars Steering Committee, and recommendations will be presented to the Advisory Committee. Proposals may be submitted to