Contact: Sherry Cleary, Executive Director  

O: 718-254-7320

New York, NY August 7, 2017 – The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute of the Research Foundation of the CUNY is pleased to announce the appointment of Helga Yuan Larsen as the new Director of QUALITYstarsNY.

“After an expansive search, Helga stood out as the candidate who could best lead QUALITYstarsNY going forward during an exciting time of continued growth,” said Sherry M. Cleary, Executive Director of the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, which oversees and coordinates all aspects of QUALITYstarsNY. “We are impressed with Helga’s deep experience in and understanding of early childhood education and its stakeholders. I am confident in her ability to lead QUALITYstarsNY into the future.”

Ms. Larsen joined QUALITYstarsNY earlier this year as Assistant Director. With over 10 years of experience in the field — serving previously as Regional Early Childhood Manager at STG International — she has provided training and technical assistance to Early Head Start and Head Start programs with consultation, training, policy and procedure development to promote high quality services to children and families. She holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Barnard College, Columbia University.

About QUALITYstarsNY

QUALITYstarsNY is New York State’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) which supports all regulated early childhood programs serving children from birth to age five in child care centers, family homes and in primary schools with Pre-K. QUALITYstarsNY is committed to supporting child care programs with a variety of outstanding resources and supports, including individualized coaching and technical assistance; scholarships to help staff further their professional goals; and improvement funds to purchase materials, furnishings and supplies. QUALITYstarsNY participating programs now serve more than 44,000 children across the state. For more about QUALITYstarsNY, visit

About the Institute

The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute is a public-private partnership that brings together a range of city and state agencies, a consortium of private funders, and the nation's largest urban university to build a comprehensive system of professional development for individuals who work with young children in New York. Additional information is available at