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Quality Rating and Improvement Systems

by Roger Neugebauer
July/August 2009
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/quality-rating-and-improvement-systems/5018866/

One of the most important trends in the early childhood field is the emergence of quality rating systems (QRS), or quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS), which are designed to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality of early and school-age care programs. QRS came onto the scene in 1998 when Oklahoma enacted its ‘Reaching for the Stars’ program and in 1999 when North Carolina launched its ‘Star Rated License’ program. Since that time, 16 more states have implemented QRS and nearly all other states are either developing or considering developing, QRS (see Table I).

What is the goal of QRS/QRIS?

The overall goal of QRS/QRIS is to improve the quality of early childhood programs through systemwide improvements. A typical QRS/QRIS sets standards for increasing levels of quality, with state licensing standards serving as the baseline or entry level. By defining and publicizing the different levels of quality a QRS/QRIS . . .

• Makes it possible for parents to better understand the quality of programs they are considering and as a result to increase the demand for higher quality programs;
• Motivates programs to improve their quality in order to achieve higher ratings and related incentives.

In addition, a QRS/QRIS also has a beneficial ...

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