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Quality rating and improvement system state evaluations and research

Author: Daniel Ferguson
Publication Date: September 2015

A child care quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) is a method used by states and local jurisdictions to assess the level of quality of child care and early education programs, improve quality, and convey quality ratings to parents and other consumers. A typical QRIS incorporates the following components: quality standards for participating providers; a system for measuring and monitoring provider quality; resources for providers to support quality improvement; financial incentives for providers who meet quality standards; and education and outreach to families about the ratings and how to choose a quality program for their children. In 2010, Assessing States' Child Care Quality Rating Systems (QRS), a project funded by the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, produced a compendium that documented features of QRISs in 25 states that had them at the time. An updated online version of the compendium was released in 2014, which included information on 38 states with QRISs. Many jurisdictions with QRISs, as well as other interested organizations and individuals, have undertaken research and evaluation efforts to improve their understanding of QRIS implementation, validity, results, and impacts. This Topic of Interest provides a comprehensive list of state QRIS evaluations and research in the Research Connections collection. (author abstract)

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