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ERIC Number: ED538044
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 40
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
A Count for Quality: Child Care Center Directors on Rating and Improvement Systems
Schulman, Karen; Matthews, Hannah; Blank, Helen; Ewen, Danielle
Center for Law and Social Policy, Inc. (CLASP)
Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS)--a strategy to improve families' access to high-quality child care--assess the quality of child care programs, offer incentives and assistance to programs to improve their ratings, and give information to parents about the quality of child care. These systems are operating in a growing number of states--22 states had statewide QRIS and four additional states had QRIS in one or more of their communities as of 2010. Given that QRIS are used in a growing number of states and communities, it is helpful to examine the range of approaches these states and communities are taking in designing and implementing QRIS. It is also important to examine the opportunities and barriers for QRIS in achieving the goals of improving the quality of child care and increasing access to high-quality child care for families, particularly for the most vulnerable families. QRIS can be a tool for improving the quality of care accessed by low-income families who cannot afford high-quality care on their own. To gain more insight into different strategies for shaping and implementing QRIS, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) interviewed 48 child care center directors from nine states about their experiences with QRIS. The directors offered valuable perspectives on what is working in their QRIS and how the systems could be improved. The directors' observations indicate that QRIS work best when they help child care providers improve quality on an ongoing basis by providing financial, mentoring, and other support and when they effectively align with other high-quality early childhood and after-school systems. To that end, NWLC and CLASP recommend that state and local policy makers: (1) Set quality rating standards that appropriately reflect elements essential to the quality of care; (2) Establish a quality assessment process that is reliable and responsive; (3) Provide sufficient, sustained incentives and support for improving quality; (4) Design QRIS to meet the needs of all children; (5) Educate parents about QRIS and high-quality care; and (6) Align QRIS with other high-quality programs and components within the early childhood system. (Contains 45 endnotes.) [Additional funding was provided by Early Care and Education Consortium, New Directions Foundation, and Service Employees International Union.]
Center for Law and Social Policy. 1015 15th Street NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-906-8000; Fax: 202-842-2885; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Birth to Five Policy Alliance; Annie E. Casey Foundation; Ford Foundation; George Gund Foundation; McKnight Foundation; Moriah Fund; Ms. Foundation for Women; William Penn Foundation; A.L. Mailman Family Foundation, Inc.
Authoring Institution: National Women's Law Center (NWLC); Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Identifiers - Location: Florida; Illinois; Iowa; Kentucky; Maine; North Carolina; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Tennessee