A Count for Quality: Child Care Center Directors on Rating and Improvement Systems

A Count for Quality: Child Care Center Directors on Rating and Improvement Systems

To raise the quality of child care across early childhood education programs, Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) must set strong rating standards, make meaningful assessments, offer incentives and support for improvement, meet the needs of children from diverse backgrounds, engage parents, and align standards, a report from the National Women's Law Center and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) finds. Based on interviews, A Count for Quality: Child Care Center Directors on Rating and Improvement Systems (40 pages, PDF) found that for these ingredients to come together, it is critical to also have good communication between providers or programs, licensors, assessors, coaches, and parents; a focus on child-caregiver interactions and relationships with families; outside resources to sustain improvements; and reviews of standards. Funded by the Annie E. Casey, Ford, George Gund, A.L. Mailman Family, McKnight, New Directions, and William Penn foundations; the Moriah Fund; the Ms. Foundation for Women; the Birth to Five Policy Alliance; the Early Care and Education Consortium; and the Service Employees International Union, the report also argues that QRIS — a central component of the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge — could help expand low-income families' access to high-quality child care.