Quality Stars, Mississippi's QRIS, is no longer in effect. No other information about quality improvement efforts in the state is available at this time.
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Wyoming currently has no QRIS but is working jointly with the Wyoming Early Childhood State Advisory Council on identifying technical assistance options to explore a system of ECE quality improvement. They are working to develop quality standards that will align with their Early Learning Guidelines and Early Learning Foundations. A career ladder for providers is also currently under development.
The Virgin Islands’ QRIS, Step up to Quality, is a five level system that has been in a pilot phase since 2013. As of October 2015, there were 23 programs participating in the pilot. Four standards comprise the Step up to Quality system, including: 1) professional development and staff qualifications; 2) teaching and learning environments; 3) facilities, operations, policies, and leadership; and 4) family and community engagement. Programs start at the first level, which is equivalent to licensing, and progress through each additional level. In-person technical assistance, quality improvement grants, training and scholarships for professional development are provided to programs to help them progress through the levels. Full implementation of Step up to Quality is planned to take place in late 2015 through 2016.
South Dakota is working to develop a system of recognition for early care and education providers that aligns with the licensing requirements in the Child Care Development Block Grant reauthorization of November 2014. They currently operate five Early Childhood Enrichment Sites throughout the state that act as a hub for training and technical assistance to ECE providers. They are also working towards providing credit to programs that go above and beyond licensing standards, although the form that this additional credit will take is currently unknown.
Pasitos (Little Steps toward quality improvement of child care services) is Puerto Rico’s island wide Quality Rating and Improvement System that began in 2010. It has five levels that are arranged within a points rating structure. Eligible licensed programs are rated based on the following ten areas: 1) Positive relationships, 2) Daily activity planning to stimulate children’s development (curriculum), 3) Teaching Strategies, 4) Assessment of children’s progress, 5) Health and safety, 6) Teachers professional background, 7) Family involvement, 8) Community relationships, 9) Learning environment, and 10) Leadership and Management (policies and procedures). Pasitos evaluates the services offered by early childhood centers from the private and public sectors. It is a voluntary self-assessment process.
Implementation of a QRIS in Missouri was banned in 2012 through legislative action.
Hawai`i completed a pilot in 2014 to test the feasibility of scaling their quality improvement initiatives up to the statewide level. Following the reauthorization of the Child Care Development Block Grant in November 2014, they have chosen to focus on ensuring that they are meeting the health and safety, training, and monitoring requirements in the new law rather than on formal QRIS development. Hawai`i continues to implement their on-going quality improvement initiatives, including the Learning to Grow program which provides resources in the area of child development to license-exempt providers; support to licensed and registered providers in meeting USDA food program requirements; free and low cost training for early care providers; scholarships for practitioners to complete a Child Development Associate credential or towards early childhood college credits; and training through the Healthy Child Care Hawai`i for pediatricians so that they can act as early childhood health consultants for licensed providers.
In 2014, Guam’s completed a pilot of its QRIS by rating 11 of its 42 licensed center-based programs. Pilot programs received improvement and rating supports from a facilitator who was assigned to work with them. There are four levels to Guam’s QRIS and its indicators of quality related to: scores on the ECERS and ITERS; education and training; and health and safety. Guam’s professional development indicators build off of their Early Childhood Care & Education’s Plan for Professional Development which guides providers in planning to receive additional education and training to improve the quality of early care and education they provide. A new QRIS contractor began administering the QRIS in the middle of 2014 and the timeline for their rolling out of rating of other programs is currently unknown.
Information about the Hillsborough QRIS is not currently available.
American Samoa’s QRIS is intended to be a 5-star system, with the 2-Star level indicating that programs are meeting licensing requirements. The QRIS is in the later stages of refinement and as of June 2015 they were deciding whether to include an observational assessment of quality in the rating and, if so, which measure to use. The categories of rating indicators will be 1) parent engagement, 2) administration, 3) professional development, and 4) health/safety. A pilot of these standards took place in October of 2015. Quality improvement supports for programs will include coaching and training opportunities for providers.
The Alabama Quality STARS QRIS began full implementation in February 2016. Eligible programs include licensed centers as well as center programs that cannot be licensed by the Alabama Department of Human Resources, such as military, public school, college and university, and Tribal programs. Alabama Quality STARS is a five-STAR “building block“ system. Programs must meet all standards at a STAR level before moving to the next level. The STARS Standards are based on four components: 1) Staff Qualifications and Professional Development, 2) Management and Administrative Practices, 3) Learning Environment and Curriculum, and 4) Family Involvement and Community Partnerships. A pilot of Alabama Quality STARS for family child care programs started in 2017.
Information about the Sarasota Look for the Stars QRIS is not currently available.
West Virginia has been working to develop a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for early care and education programs for several years. In 2008, a tiered reimbursement system was put into place with three quality tier levels for licensed child care programs. In 2009, legislation was passed mandating implementation of a QRIS but without the funding to support it. The tiered reimbursement system encompasses some components of a QRIS, like the use of quality standards and paper documentation to verify compliance with standards, but it does not include the full range of incentives and supports for programs and practitioners that the full QRIS would entail. The system is also lacking consumer education and awareness, such as a name for the QRIS and detailed information available to parents. New legislation has been proposed that would allow for easier updating of quality standards as best practices change, would be less restrictive and broader in scope, and would include all early childhood education sectors and settings. In consultation with the QRIS Advisory Council, the standards for the proposed QRIS have already been revised. The Council is aiming to develop a four-tier reimbursement system that includes technical assistance, on-site monitoring, multiple pathways to quality, and inclusion of all early childhood and school-age care programs, among other features.
Links to Quality (L2Q) is the current Kansas QRIS. Kansas is working to develop and implement a system of recognition for early child care providers. This system will recognize, rather than rate, quality. L2Q has defined Quality Indicators in three topic areas: 1) Program Leadership, 2) Family Partnerships, and 3) Learning and Development. Each topic area contains benchmarks participants must meet to achieve a Quality Recognition Link. L2Q will use a portfolio to collect evidence to determine if participants have reached the benchmarks in each topic area. A pilot is tentatively scheduled to begin in fall of 2017. The pilot will include 30-40 providers across the state who agree to participate. The pilot project will extend over a two-year period to ensure all L2Q materials and procedures operate as planned.
Connecticut is piloting a draft model of a proposed QRIS. The pilot includes a Health and Safety pillar, Workforce Education pillar, and Learning and Environment pillar. Each pillar consists of 5 levels. Focus groups will be held in the fall and spring on Family Engagement and Leadership to round out the QRIS, which is proposed to launch in the fall of 2018.