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: Hope Lutheran Early Education Center

Back in 1967, Hope Lutheran Church in New Castle Delaware offered a kindergarten program to the community before kindergarten was a part of primary school education. Fast forward 51 years, and Hope Lutheran has evolved into an early education center with six classrooms for children ages 2 through 8, offering before- and after-school care.

A Star Level 5 program, Hope Lutheran attributes their success, in part, to their focus on community. “We create opportunities for parents and caregivers to stop in our offices to talk with us,” said Laura Cahill, center director. “We try to make our center as similar to home as possible while giving children many opportunities to learn.”

Laura also points out that she and her team are very intentional about keeping their work “simple, sweet, slow and steady.” This approach is rooted in the center’s core values of education, nutrition, and spirituality.

“We just don’t focus on academics,” added Janine Borrelli, office manager. “We’re about nourishing the mind, body, and soul.”

Both Laura and Janine our quick to point out Delaware Stars and TA Dan Reagan’s role in the center’s success.

“We wanted to work with Stars from the very beginning,” said Laura. “It wan’t about the money but we wanted the coaching.”

“And Dan has done exactly that,” she added. “He’s encouraged us to be who we are while improving. Now we think about the ‘why’ of the many aspects of our work.”

“We know what Stars expects us to do is the right thing to do for our children,” said Laura.

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.