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General QIS Glossary Terms

Definitions for commonly used QIS words and phrases.

+ ShowGeneral QIS Terms
Quality Improvement System (QIS)

A quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) is “a method to assess, improve and communicate the level of quality in early care and education settings” (Mitchell, 2005, p. 4). In 2021, the Quality Compendium is using the term quality improvement system, or QIS, to reflect the fact that some states no longer include a rating component in their system. QIS can exist on a spectrum in terms of their development and implementation and can operate statewide or in a local area. A fully functioning QIS, however, includes the following components: (1) quality standards for programs and practitioners, (2) an infrastructure to support programs and practitioners in meeting such standards, (3) monitoring and accountability systems to ensure compliance with quality standards, (4) ongoing financial assistance that is linked to meeting quality standards, and (5) engagement and outreach strategies (Child Trends, 2009). By participating in their State’s QIS, early and school-age care providers embark on a path of continuous quality improvement.