Elevating Quality Rating and Improvement System Communications: How to Improve Outreach to and Engagement with Providers, Parents, Policymakers, and the Public


Thirty-nine states have adopted quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) to rate and support child care and education providers and centers serving children birth to age five. Communications plays a critical role in engaging providers, parents, partners, policymakers, and the public in QRIS. From Child Trends’ communications team, this report provides examples of what some states are doing to market their QRIS, and recommendations for other states.

Source: Child Trends

Available at: http://www.childtrends.org/?publications=elevating-quality-rating-and-improvement-system-communications-how-to-improve-outreach-to-and-engagement-with-providers-parents-policymakers-and-the-public

Benchmarks for Quality Improvement Self-Assessment Tool 


The Benchmarks for Quality Improvement Self-Assessment Tool can help States and Territories assess their current status and measure progress in implementing program quality improvement systems. The Self-Assessment Tool contains a series of questions to answer for each of the benchmark indicators. These questions and the States and Territories’ answers should help them to determine their status on a series of progress measures – No Action, Developing, Implementing, or Fully Implementing. Space is provided for notes and to prioritize and plan for next steps in those areas where progress is needed.

Source: Child Care Technical Assistance Network

Available at: https://childcareta.acf.hhs.gov/resource/benchmarks-quality-improvement-self-assessment-tool

Benchmarks for Quality Improvement: Measuring Progress in State and Territory Program Quality Improvement Efforts 


The Benchmarks for Quality Improvement (BQI) were developed to assist States and Territories in assessing and measuring progress in program quality improvement systems and to assess their current status in improving their early education and school-age care quality. OCC established benchmarks that are easy to understand, measurable, and that will help States and Territories better plan for use of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF).The benchmarks consist of five elements, each of which includes a progression of indicators that detail the expectations for progress toward or achievement of program quality. This document provides information about OCC’s vision, mission, areas of expectations for States and Territories, scope of indicators, and core elements.

Source: Child Care Technical Assistance Network

Available at: https://childcareta.acf.hhs.gov/resource/benchmarks-quality-improvement-measuring-progress-state-and-territory-program-quality

A Blueprint for Early Care and Education Quality Improvement Initiatives 


As Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) continue to launch and mature across states, questions emerge from stakeholders about how to design and implement effective quality improvement (QI) initiatives that accompany a QRIS. The purpose of this report is to address questions about effective QI initiatives by proposing a blueprint of quality improvement practices and design considerations.

Source: Child Trends

Available at: http://www.childtrends.org/?publications=a-blueprint-for-early-care-and-education-quality-improvement-initiatives-final-report

QRIS State Contacts & Map 


The following information can be found in the QRIS State Contacts spreadsheet:

  • QRIS Status,
  • State, QRIS,
  • QRIS Website,
  • Implementing Agency
  • Primary Contact Name/Email/Phone,
  • Alternate Contact Name/Email

The following information can be found in the QRIS Map:Complete U.S. map with QRIS Status color key:

  • Statewide = Blue
  • Counties/Localities/Regions = Red
  • Pilot = Green
  • Planning = Yellow
  • Requires Legislative Action to Implement a QRIS = Grey


Source: QRIS National Learning Network

Available at: http://qrisnetwork.org/qris-state-contacts-map

CEELO Fast Facts: QRIS and Inclusion

November 25, 2014

As the country quickly builds its efforts to enhance quality in early education and care classrooms, states are implementing Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) to recognize and improve the quality of programs. QRIS also provides technical support and increased financial benefits for participating programs to attain higher levels of quality. Developed initially as a voluntary system for providers in many states, participation in a QRIS is increasingly becoming a requirement for family child care and centers to receive state or federal funds. QRIS policy has been embedded in federal initiatives such as Race to the Top–Early Learning Challenge and the Preschool Development and Expansion grants, mandating states to improve the quality of early education and care. Most important, QRIS is intended to provide consumers (parents) with a mechanism to differentiate quality of programs to determine which programs may provide better services for their children.

Source: Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes

Available at: http://ceelo.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/ceelo_fast_fact_qris_inclusion.pdf

How Parents Make Child Care Decisions


For families, child care arrangements are not one-size-fits-all. Parents make child care decisions as one piece of a complex puzzle of work and family life. Constrained family finances, inflexible work schedules, and limited availability of suitable options make choices challenging for many families. But just as important are parents’ preferences, values, and worries about choosing a caregiver for their young child. Acknowledging the difficulties families face and recognizing the importance of the choice, several programs and policies aim to help parents, including child care resource and referral (CCR&R) and quality rating and improvement (QRIS) services.

How do parents make child care decisions? How can programs, providers, and policymakers work with families to help them make the best possible choice for their child and family? Recent research is helping to shed light on this complex, dynamic decision-making process and better understand variations between families in different circumstances.

Source: Child Trends

Available at: http://www.childtrends.org/how-parents-make-child-care-decisions/