University of Delaware College of Education and Human Development
Department of Human Development & Family Studies
Delaware Department of Education
Delaware Office of Early Learning
Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood

Stars Program Spotlights

We are proud of all of the early childhood and school-age care educators in Delaware, for opening their doors to young children and providing early learning and nurturing to our youngest citizens. We enjoy celebrating the achievements and success of our shining stars. Send us pictures and a brief description of your program, why you chose early childhood as a profession, what you love about early learning and caring for children, how you connect with families and your community, and we will “Spotlight” you! Please send to

Program Spotlight: Happy Place Early Learning Center

Surrounded by families, friends, and dignitaries, Happy Place Early Learning Center celebrated the official opening of its second center in August. The new location is in Middletown and has already been embraced by the community with the Chamber of Commerce hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony.  

Since 2012, owners Sam and Anna Tawfik have been invested in delivering quality care to their community with their Newark location – a Star Level 5 program. In addition to their commitment to quality, the Tawfik’s are intentional about serving the needs of a diverse population. Sam is from Egypt and Anna from Russia, so it is not a surprise for both teachers and children to speak several different languages resulting in strong connections with families.

“We saw the need for expansion because our Newark site has a waiting list,” said Anna. “Our goal is to build community with families, and Middletown seemed like the perfect fit.”

The new location has been up and running since May and has already enrolled more than thirty families. And in keeping with their goals of continuous quality improvement, Happy Place in Middletown is a “Starting with Stars” program.

“Working with Stars has helped us with everything from room arrangement to curriculum development,” said Anna. “Our parent conferences are much more meaningful because of what we have learned from our TA.”

We are excited to be a part of the growth of this new center and wish them continued success.

If you are thinking about joining Delaware Stars or would like to talk to someone about joining, please contact us at 302-831-3239 or email

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Thank you for visiting the Delaware Stars for Early Success website. Delaware Stars is a program funded and administered by Delaware Department of Education, managed by the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood (DIEEC) in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.