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Information about the Sarasota Look for the Stars QRIS is not currently available.

Information about the Hillsborough QRIS is not currently available.

A description of Missouri's QRIS is currently unavailable.

Quality Stars, Mississippi's QRIS, is no longer in effect.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.

Star Rated License System

Program Website

The Star Rated License System is North Carolina's statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System that began in 1999. The Star Rated License System awards one to five stars based on state-defined standards related to staff education and program quality. Licensed center-based and family child care home programs can earn up to seven points in each of these two areas and have the option to earn one quality point by meeting an additional educational or programmatic standard.

Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System

Program Website

Colorado Shines is a statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System. The Colorado Shines rating is attached to the state child care licensing rules and regulations making participation mandatory for licensed center-based and family child care programs. The system uses a hybrid block and point rating structure composed of five levels. While participation is mandatory at Level 1, higher levels 2 through 5 are voluntary. Programs are rated on five areas of quality: 1) Workforce Qualification and Professional Development, 2) Family Partnerships, 3) Leadership, Management and Administration, 4) Learning Environment, and 5) Child Health.

Quality Rated

Program Website

Georgia's Quality Rated is a statewide system that began in 2012. The QRIS is composed of three levels and uses a points structure. Eligible programs include licensed center-based, family child care, school aged, school operated early childhood, Head Start/EHS, and other programs. All participating programs are rated based on five categories: 1) Director and Teacher Qualifications and Georgia Professional Development System (GaPDS) Verification, 2) Child Health, Nutrition, and Physical Activity, 3) Family Engagement, 4) Intentional Teaching Practices, and 5) Teacher-to-Student Ratios. These categories are used to determine a structural quality score. A process quality score is determined using the Environment Rating Scales (ERS). The structural quality and process quality scores are used to determine a program's star rating.

Reaching for the Stars

Program Website

Oklahoma's Reaching for the Stars is a statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System that began in 1998. The QRIS has four levels and is organized into a block rating structure. Eligible programs are rated based on six categories: 1) Administrative, 2) Professional Development/Qualifications, 3) Learning Environment, 4) Family Engagement, 5) Program Evaluation, and 6) Accreditation.

YoungStar

Program Website

Wisconsin's YoungStar is a statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System that began in 2010. It is composed of five levels that are arranged in a hybrid rating structure. Regulated (licensed, certified, license-exempt) center-based, school-age, day camp, and family child care programs can apply and are rated on 1) Education and Training Qualifications, 2) Learning Environment and Curriculum, 3) Professional and Business Practices, and 4) Child Health and Well-Being Practices.

Iowa's Quality Rating System

Program Website

Iowa's voluntary Quality Rating System began in 2006. It was recalibrated in 2010. We are in the final stages of re-designing the entire system. Currently, there are five levels organized in a hybrid rating structure. Child development homes, licensed child care centers and preschools, and school-operated early childhood programs are eligible to apply. Programs are rated based on five categories: 1) Professional Development, 2) Health and Safety, 3) Environment, 4) Family and Community Partnerships, and 5) Leadership & Administration.

Texas Rising Star

Program Website

Texas Rising Star is a hybrid statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System that began in 1991 and was revised in 2015. Texas Rising Star certified providers offer quality care that exceed the state’s Child Care Licensing Minimum Standards in five categories: 1) Director and Staff Qualifications, 2) Caregiver-Child Interactions, 3) Curriculum, 4) Nutrition and Indoor/Outdoor Activities, and 5) Parent Education and Involvement. Texas Rising Star certified childcare providers may obtain a progressively higher level as follows: 2-star, 3-star, and 4-star level. More information about the Texas Rising Star program may be found by visiting the program’s website: https://texasrisingstar.org/

Bright & Early North Dakota

Program Website

To maximize the learning that occurs in the early years, the North Dakota Department of Human Services launched Bright & Early ND statewide in 2015. Bright & Early ND is an organized and cost-effective framework to sustain child care capacity, develop the child care workforce, prepare children to enter school ready to succeed, and provide valuable consumer information to families. Build & Sustain Child Care Capacity Bright & Early ND rewards programs that demonstrate success, providing revenue to stabilize operations and encourage expansion. Develop the Child Care Workforce Bright & Early ND sets benchmarks for Program Directors, Lead Teachers and Caregiver qualifications, and we provide incentives to meet them. Prepare Children to Enter School Ready to Succeed Bright & Early ND is an avenue to maximize learning in the settings where children spend their day. Provide Consumer Information to Families Bright & Early ND translates a program’s accomplishments into one simple quality rating. Ratings provide an easy-to-use tool for parents to identify child care providers and early education programs who go above and beyond for children in our community.

Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS)

Program Website

Vermont's statewide Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS) began in 2004 and is composed of five levels. All regulated programs participate.in STARS at least at the 1-STAR level. Programs who choose to progres do so by accumulating points in the rating structure based on their ability to meet indicators within four categories: 1) Staff Qualifications, 2) Program Practices, 3) Families and Community, and 4) Administration.

Step Up To Quality

Program Website

Step Up To Quality is the statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System in Ohio that was developed in 2004. Eligible programs include licensed center-based and family child care programs. It is composed of five levels. Programs progress through this hybrid rating structure based on five categories: 1) Learning & Development, 2) Administrative & Leadership Practices, 3) Staff Qualifications & Professional Development, 4) Family & Community Partnerships, and 5) Staff/Child Ratio & Group Size & Accreditation.

Utah's Child Care Quality System (CCQS)

Program Website

Utah's Child Care Quality System is a statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System. The system is mandatory for licensed child care programs that receive federal child care subsidy and is voluntary for licensed child care programs that do not receive federal child care subsidy. Family child care programs will enter CCQS in 2020. The system uses a hybrid block and point rating structure that allows programs to receive one of four certified quality ratings. Programs are rated on five domains of quality: 1) Health and Safety, 2) Learning Environments, 3) Leadership and Professional Development, 4) Management and Administration, and 5) National Accreditation.

Great Start to Quality

Program Website

Great Start to Quality is Michigan's statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System that became operational in 2011. Licensed center-based and family child care programs are eligible to participate. The system is composed of five levels that are organized in a points rating structure. Program ratings are based on five categories: 1) Staff Qualifications and Professional Development, 2) Family and Community Partnerships, 3) Administration and Management, 4) Environment, and 5) Curriculum and Instruction.

Better Beginnings

Program Website

Better Beginnings is a statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System in Arkansas. It began in 2010 and is managed by the Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education. Licensed center-based and licensed family child care programs are eligible to participate. It is composed of three levels and uses a block rating structure. Programs are rated based on five categories: 1) Administration, 2) Administrator/Staff Qualifications and Professional Development, 3) Child Health and Development, 4) Environmental Assessment, and 5) Learning Environment.

Learn & Grow

Program Website

In July 2016 Alaska launched Phase I of Learn & Grow, which includes Block Levels 1 & 2 of 5 levels of quality and is available statewide to all licensed child care programs. As of October 2019, 146/372 or 39% of eligible licensed child care programs are participating. Quality standards and activities for all early childhood programs types (Head Start, Early Head Start, Pre-elementary, Preschool Special Education and Licensed child care homes (small and large), and centers) are complete. Currently Level 1 and 2 of a five leveled system are available to all licensed child care programs. Learn & Grow is working to make additional levels of quality available to all early childhood program types including Head Start/Early Head Start, Pre-elementary and Preschool special education programs in FY20/21. Learn & Grow is located and managed by Alaska’s CCR&R network, called "thread." Learn & Grow leverages resources from thread and SEED (System for Education Early Development, also located and managed by thread) such as technical assistance and coaching (Relationship Based Professional Development), training, funding, assessment, professional development registry/career ladder, training approval system and soon a coaching (RBPD) approval system.

Quality for ME

Program Website

Maine's Quality for ME began in 2008, and is a statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System. It has four levels that are organized in a block rating structure. Eligible programs are rated based on eight categories: 1) Compliance history/Licensing status, 2) Learning environment/Developmentally appropriate practice, 3) Program evaluation, 4) Staffing and professional development, 5) Administrative policies and procedures, 6) Parent/Family involvement, 7) Family resources, and 8) Authentic assessment. In 2016 Quality for ME underwent a revision through a process of gathering feedback from a stakeholder group, focus groups held around the state, and practitioner implementation groups. The revision recommendations have been submitted to the Maine Office of Child and Family Services, DHHS. Currently, the timeline for implementation is unknown.

Keystone STARS

Program Website

Pennsylvania's Keystone STARS is a statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System that began in 2002. DHS-certified child care providers with a full certificate of compliance and Preschool programs licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education in good standing will be awarded a STAR 1 to indicate foundational achievement in meeting health and safety standards. Programs may choose to participate in ongoing quality improvement activities to obtain a STAR 2, 3 or 4. Keystone STARS is composed of four levels and organized in a hybrid points and block rating structure. Program ratings are based on four categories: 1) Staff Qualifications and Professional Development, 2) Learning Program, 3) Partnerships with Family and Community, and 4) Leadership and Management.

BrightStars

Program Website

BrightStars is a statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System operating in Rhode Island. It started in 2009 and is composed of five levels. Eligible programs include licensed center-based programs, preschools located in public schools, school-age programs, and family child care programs. Once enrolled, programs are rated on ten categories: 1) Learning Environment, 2) Minimum Staff-Child Ratio, 3) Maximum Group Size, 4) Teacher Qualifications, 5) Program Leadership, 6) Continuous Quality Improvement, 7) Curriculum, 8) Child Assessment, 9) Inclusive Classroom Practices, and 10) Family Communication and Involvement.

Massachusetts Quality Rating and Improvement System (MA QRIS)

Program Website

The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) developed the Massachusetts QRIS in 2011 to improve the quality of early education and care programs across the Commonwealth. The MA QRIS supports programs in providing high-quality early education and care that supports positive outcomes for children. The system includes four levels and uses a block rating structure. The MA QRIS serves the entire mixed-delivery system, which includes center based, public preschool, and license-exempt early education programs, family child care, and afterschool/out-of-school time programs. Programs are rated on five categories: 1) Curriculum and Learning, 2) Safe, Healthy Indoor and Outdoor Environments, 3) Workforce Qualifications and Professional Development, 4) Family and Community Engagement, and 5) Leadership, Administration, and Management. In 2019, EEC introduced Interim Changes to the MA QRIS. Based on recommendations from the MA QRIS validation study and feedback from the field, EEC has made changes to the MA QRIS that simplify the application process, remove barriers to participation, and help improve program quality. These interim changes are a precursor to the next version of the MA QRIS, which is currently in development and will launch at a later date.

Louisiana's Unified Statewide Early Childhood Quality Rating and Improvement System

Program Website

In June 2015, Louisiana established a unified statewide quality rating and improvement system for child care, Head Starts, and public and nonpublic schools serving children birth to five years of age. Through the unified rating and improvement system, each publicly-funded site and community in Louisiana receives a Performance Profile that includes a rating based on rigorous classroom observations using the CLASS system of measures. Performance Profiles also include information on best practices that measure important quality inputs, including use of ongoing assessment and a high-quality curriculum, the education and certifications of teachers, and teacher:child ratios. These profiles provide families with key information about all sites and community networks serving children through public funds.

Virginia Quality

Program Website

Virginia Quality is a statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System that began in 2007 and was revised in 2014-2015. Eligible programs progress through a block rating structure based on their ability to meet criteria and complete improvement activities in four standards of quality: 1) Education & Qualifications, 2) Curriculum & Assessment, 3) Environment, and 4) Interactions.

Steps to Quality

Program Website

Steps to Quality is Idaho's voluntary statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System, composed of six levels in a building block model. All early childcare programs are eligible to participate. The seven quality domains are 1) Health, Safety, and Wellness, 2) Business Practices, 3) Child Development, 4) Curriculum and Instruction, 5) Environments, 6) Inclusion and Diversity, and 7) Partnerships with Families and Communities.

Best Beginnings STARS to Quality

Program Website

Best Beginnings STARS to Quality is Montana's statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System that began in 2010. Licensed center-based, family and group child care, and Head Start programs can apply. The system is composed of five levels that are arranged in a block rating structure. Programs are rated based on the following five categories: 1) Education, 2) Qualifications and Training, 3) Staff/ Caregiver-to-Child Ratio & Group Size, 4) Family/ Community Partnership, and 5) Leadership & Program Management.

QUALITYstarsNY

Program Website

The goal of QUALITYstarsNY is to improve short- and long-term outcomes for New York’s youngest learners through the use of a framework that defines, assesses, and improves the quality of early childhood programs. Using a 5-star rating scale, QUALITYstarsNY also strives to empower families to make informed decisions about their early education options.

Spark

Program Website

Oregon's Quality Rating and Improvement System (Spark) started in 2013. Spark is composed of five levels, with the first level being licensure. Licensed center-based and family child care programs are eligible to participate and are rated based on a block system in five categories: 1) Children's Learning and Development, 2) Health and Safety, 3) Personnel Qualifications, 4) Family Partnerships, and 5) Administrative and Business Practices.

Paths to Quality

Program Website

Paths to Quality is the voluntary and statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System in Indiana. Eligible programs include licensed center-based and family child care programs. It is composed of four levels and uses a block rating structure. Ratings are based on four categories: 1) Professional Development and Education, 2) Program Administration, 3) Environment and Instruction, and 4) Accreditation.

Grow NJ Kids

Program Website

Grow NJ Kids, New Jersey’s QRIS, was piloted starting in late summer of 2013, in four counties in the central and northern regions of the state. Fifty-seven diverse programs including Head Start, school-based pre-k, and licensed child care centers participated in the pilot. These programs completed a self-assessment and were provided with assistance to develop a quality improvement plan. The QRIS standards were revised based on the results of the pilot, and the numbers of standards and categories were reduced. In January 2014, New Jersey was awarded a Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant; statewide roll-out of its QRIS began in the fall of that year.

Maryland EXCELS (Excellence Counts in Early Learning and School-age Child Care)

Program Website

Maryland EXCELS is a statewide Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System that opened for statewide participation on July 1, 2013 after a pilot and field test. It is composed of five levels (1 - 5) and organized in a block rating structure. Participating programs are rated in five content areas: 1) Licensing and Compliance, 2) Staff Qualifications and Professional Development, 3) Accreditation and Rating Scales, 4) Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practice, and 5) Administrative Policies and Practices.

Early Achievers

Program Website

Early Achievers is Washington's statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System. It began in 2012 and has five levels that are arranged in a hybrid rating structure. Eligible programs include licensed or certified center-based and family child care facilities, as well as Head Start and Washington's state Pre-K programs. Once enrolled, programs are rated on five categories: 1) Child Outcomes, 2) Facility Curriculum & Staff Supports, 3)Learning Environment & Interactions, 4) Professional Development & Training, and 5) Family Engagement & Partnership.

Parent Aware

Program Website

Parent Aware is Minnesota's statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System that began in 2007. It is composed of four levels, and participation is voluntary. Eligible programs are rated on five categories: 1) Teaching and Relationships with Children, 2) Relationships with Families, 3) Assessment and Planning for Each Individual Child, 4) Professionalism, and 5) Health and Well-being.

ExceleRate Illinois

Program Website

ExceleRate Illinois is a statewide system that began in 2013. It uses a block rating structure and is composed of four levels (Licensed, Bronze, Silver, and Gold). Licensed center-based programs and family child care homes are automatically enrolled once licensed. Participation at higher levels is voluntary. Programs are rated based on four domains: 1) Teaching and Learning, 2) Family and Community Engagement, 3) Leadership and Management, and 4) Qualifications and Continuing Education.

Thrive by 5 Early Learning Quality Improvement System (QIS)

Program Website

Thrive by 5 QIS was redesigned to address disparities in our community and ensure that all children in our community have equitable access to high quality early learning experiences and that all children are prepared and ready to learn when they enter kindergarten. Programs earn a tier level according to a CLASS composite score and receive tiered payment differentials according to their tier. Differentials are paid on ALL children, not only subsidized children and are based on enrollment and maximum days paid per month. Additionally, mental health consultation, salary supplements, child assessment supports and subscriptions, a robust educator scholarship program and on-site coaching are available to programs. The QIS also incorporates a child scholarship component which offers scholarships to families that do not qualify for subsidized childcare but cannot afford the high cost of quality childcare. The scholarships must be used in Tier 4 & 5 programs.

New Hampshire QRIS

Program Website

New Hampshire's QRIS is a statewide system that began in 2005. It has three levels (licensed, Licensed Plus and nationally accredited) that are organized in a block rating structure. Licensed center-based programs, including school-age and licensed family child care, can participate. Licensed Plus programs are rated on the following eight categories: 1) Regulation, 2) Administration and Business Practices, 3) Learning Environment, 4) Parent/ Family Involvement, 5) Children with Special Needs, 6) Professional Development, 7) Staff Qualifications and Compensation, and 8) Program Evaluation. NH's system is currently under revision, to be known as the Quality Recognition and Improvement System. It is anticipated that the revised system will have four levels of quality above the Licensed level, potentially include two standards for quality and multiple "endorsements" for which programs may apply.

Nevada Silver State Stars QRIS

Program Website

Nevada Silver State Stars QRIS is a statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System that started in 2013. It is composed of five levels and uses a hybrid rating structure. Licensed center-based programs can apply, and ratings are determined by a set of Required criteria for each level, as well as additional quality indicators in four categories: 1) Policies & Procedures, 2) Administration & Staff Development, 3) Health & Safety, 4) Families & Community. The Family Child Care model launched in Southern Nevada in 2016 and statewide in 2017. The Family Child Care model is similar to the Center model with five levels, required criteria at each level, and additional quality indicators in four categories: 1) Professional & Business Practices, 2) Developmental Learning Activities, 3) Health & Safety and 3) Relationships & Environment. The Local Education Agency (LEA or District) Model Pre-K model launched in 2016 for all schools that receive Pre-K Development Grant funding. The District model is also a five-level, hybrid model with required criteria comprised solely of ECERS-3 and CLASS scores, and additional quality indicators which align with the federal quality indicators identified in the Pre-K Development Grant. The LEA model was placed on hold for funding reasons June 2019- June 2020. A Tribal child care model is currently in development.

Strong Minds

Program Website

Strong Minds is a voluntary quality rating improvement system that promotes high quality in early care and education programs. The goal of Strong Minds is to ensure all children arrive at kindergarten ready to learn. Strong Minds focuses on 1) Improving children’s learning and development, 2) improving adult-child interactions, and 3) increasing family engagement in children’s learning and development. Strong Minds recognizes program directors and family child care home operators as the leaders and change agents for their programs. Strong Minds is designed to support higher quality programs in their continuous quality improvement efforts by making a variety of supports available to them.

Step Up to Quality

Program Website

The Nebraska QRIS launched on July 1, 2014. It is a statewide system, with some providers being targeted based on the amount of their child care subsidy reimbursement. Licensed providers that receive $500,000 or more were required to participate before the end of 2014; those that received $250,000 or more were required to participate by year-end 2015 (Year 2). Moving forward, any program receiving $250,000 in subsidy the prior year must participate by year-end or the following year. All other licensed programs, Head Start, Public School early childhood programs, and nationally accredited programs may also voluntarily participate. Licensing is Step 1. Step 2 encompasses all the required child care licensing training, an additional Go NAP SACC (Nutrition & physical activity for child care) Orientation training, and completion of the pre-self/assessment tool. Steps 3 through 5 will allow choices in five standard areas to make progress and will earn points for completing defined indicators. Participants must earn 1 point in each standard area before they can move up a step level.

Report Card and Rated Licensing System

Program Website

The Report Card and Rated Licensing System is Tennessee's statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System. The system first became operational in 2001 and is composed of three levels that are arranged in a hybrid rating structure. All licensed center-based and family child care programs receive an annual Rated License and Report Card. Center-based programs are rated on eight categories: Director Qualifications, Professional Development, Developmental Learning, Parent/Family Involvement, Ratio and Group Size, Staff Compensation, Program Assessment, and Health and Wellbeing. Family child care programs are rated on five categories: Professional Development, Developmental Learning, Parent/Family Involvement, Business Management, and Program Assessment. Providers who wish to participate in the Star Rating program are eligible for a bonus, above the base reimbursement rate.

Guiding Stars of Duval

Program Website

Guiding Stars of Duval 4.0 (in its fourth iteration effective 7/1/2019) is a county-wide Quality Rating and Improvement System operating in Duval County, Florida. Guiding Stars has been implemented for over 10 years. The QRIS has five levels arranged in a hybrid level / points rating structure. Licensed and licensed-exempt programs can apply, and are rated on three categories: 1) Program Personnel - Staff Qualifications and Professional Development (20%), 2) Program Assessment - Teacher Child Interactions (60%), and 3) Program Content - Child Screening, Child Assessment, and Child Well-Being (20%).

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. The pilot of Alabama Quality STARS QRIS for family and group child care homes was completed in 2018. Preparations are being made for full implementation of QRIS for child care homes this Fall 2019. This will then make the Alabama Quality STARS QRIS fully implemented overall.

A pilot of a proposed QRIS provided data and information that is helping Connecticut revise its QRIS plan. Efforts focus on utilizing a strong system of licensing, branded as “Trusted Licensed Care,” and requirements for accreditation to leverage a three-step system supporting progress to accreditation. An initial action of the roll out of the system will be to gather baseline quality metrics in Connecticut programs to measure the effectiveness and continually improve the system. The state is making significant investments in quality improvement supports while containing costs of infrastructure, resulting in high quality programs that are easily identifiable to families.

In 2014, Guam began 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 on 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. The 2014 pilot was not completed; however in 2018 Guam's contractor, Guam Community College (GCC) facilitated a new pilot with the same providers that initially volunteered in 2014. Ten centers were rated: seven were rated 3-star and three centers were rated 2-star. GCC is now coordinating a second round of evaluations with a new cohort of providers.

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 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 and registered family child care 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.

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 began in April 2018. The pilot includes 30-40 providers from across the state who agreed to participate. The pilot project will extend over a two-year period to ensure all L2Q materials and procedures operate as planned.

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.

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 a complete 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.

Kentucky All STARS (last updated in 2017)

Program Website

Kentucky All STARS is Kentucky’s expanded five-star quality rating and improvement system serving all early care and education programs – including childcare centers, Head Start and public preschool – that receive public funding.

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 2015. Quality improvement supports for programs will include coaching and training opportunities for providers.

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.

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, and training and scholarships for professional development are provided to programs to help them progress through the levels. Full implementation of Step up to Quality was planned to take place in late 2015 through 2016.

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.

FOCUS - FOCUS on Young Children's Learning

Program Website

FOCUS On Young Children’s Learning, New Mexico’s Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (TQRIS), provides early childhood program personnel with the criteria, tools, and resources they need to improve the quality of their programs. These quality improvements focus on children’s growth, development, and learning, so that each child has an equitable opportunity to be successful when entering school. The FOCUS program is implemented in Child Care Centers, Family Child Care Homes, and Out of School Time Programs throughout the state.

Quality First

Program Website

Quality First is a statewide Quality Improvement and Rating System (QIRS) in Arizona. Arizona has intentionally focused on the improvement efforts of participants prior to establishing a rating. The system was developed in 2009 through a voter initiative and is funded by tobacco tax revenue. Quality First is a voluntary program and offers five quality levels of a star rating. Licensed center-based and family child care programs can apply and progress in the hybrid rating structure based on their ability to meet indicators within three standards: 1) Environments (ERS), 2) Interactions (CLASS), and 3) Administrative Practices (Staff Qualifications, Ratios and Group Sizes, and Curriculum and Child Assessment).

Delaware Stars for Early Success

Program Website

Delaware Stars for Early Success is a statewide system that first became operational in 2008. Eligible programs progress through this five-leveled hybrid points/core standards system rating structure. Participating programs are rated on four categories: 1) Family and Community Partnerships, 2) Qualifications and Professional Development, 3) Management and Administration, and 4) Learning Environment and Curriculum.

ABC Quality

Program Website

South Carolina's QRIS, ABC Quality, began in 2007. All legally operating child care programs statewide are eligible to participate. There are five levels that are arranged in a hybrid rating structure. Ratings are based on three components: 1) Eligibility Requirements to Participate evaluated annually, 2) Process Quality Elements determined by annual scores of the selected classrooms observed and 3) Structural Quality Elements relating to the administrative and policy aspects of early care and education including group size, teacher-to-children ratio, staff qualifications and professional development, and policies to support areas such as family engagement, risk management, and health and safety.

Quality Counts California (QCC)

Program Website

Collaborative state and local efforts to improve the quality of early learning and care programs for California’s children have been underway for more than a decade. This began in 2011 with the federal Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge grant, which provided states with funding to develop a statewide, locally-driven quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). When this funding expired in 2015, leaders from across the state agreed to consolidate these efforts into Quality Counts California, with funding from the California Department of Education’s QRIS Block Grants and First 5 California’s IMPACT (Improve and Maximize Programs so All Children Thrive) initiative. Collectively, these investments provide the opportunity to serve a full spectrum of program types, expand the reach of QIS, and effectively increase quality throughout the state.

Capital Quality

Program Website

Capital Quality is the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) in licensed child care facilities in the District of Columbia. Capital Quality measures the quality of early care and education programs in licensed child development facilities and supports providers to continuously improve quality. Information about the quality of each early care and education program is also shared with families of young children in Washington, DC. It allows families to review and compare the quality of programs throughout the District and make informed decisions about where to enroll their child. Capital Quality measures programs in areas that are known to make a difference in early learning quality, including the environment, program structure and teacher-child interactions. Programs are assessed using the evidence-based Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised (ITERS-R), Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale-Revised (FCCERS-R) and/or Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS).