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Early Childhood QRIS Quality Improvement Strategies

This project collects, analyzes, and disseminates information about quality standards and quality improvement activities that are part of states’ Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS), also known in some states simply as Quality Rating Systems (QRS). Currently, over 20 QRISs operate statewide, and several more states are developing these systems. These initiatives vary state by state, but all aim to raise the quality of early childhood programs serving children from infancy through preschool; some states also include school-age programs. Most QRISs offer early childhood providers supports to improve program quality, including professional development and on-site coaching or technical assistance.

Project activities include:

  • Surveys of QRIS administrators and technical assistance providers to learn about different approaches to QRIS quality improvement activities (professional development, technical assistance, and coaching) and supports for the PD specialists who provide quality assistance.
  • Analysis of QRIS standards across states to document how States are describing requirements at different levels related to early learning (such as programs’ supports for children’s language and literacy learning, early-learning focused parent involvement, progress monitoring to inform individualized learning supports).

Findings from this project will be discussed in the context of what is currently known about characteristics of quality improvement initiatives associated with positive changes in quality on dimensions that matter for young children’s development. Reports and briefs will present recommendations for ongoing work to strengthen and learn from state QRISs’ efforts to improve the quality of care and early education.

Early Childhood QRIS Quality Improvement Strategies is funded by the Birth to Five Policy Alliance.