Child Care Center Directors' Perspectives on QRIS
Feb 23, 2012
The experiences of child care center directors participating in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) can offer important lessons for state and local policy makers working to establish new or strengthen existing QRIS. These systems, designed to give providers incentives and supports to improve quality and to give parents information about child care quality, hold great promise for boosting the quality of care and lifting up the child care profession and child care system. But this can only happen if they include strong supports for providers to achieve higher quality.
Based on interviews of child care center directors in several states, conducted by CLASP and the National Women's Law Center, A Count for Quality: Child Care Center Directors on Rating and Improvement Systems, offers findings on the key components of QRIS, cross-cutting lessons on QRIS strategies, and recommendations for policy makers. 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.
A Count for Quality describes the benefits and challenges of participating in QRIS from a perspective often left out of policy decisions, but vital to the success of QRIS. The report describes directors' experiences with key QRIS components, including quality standards, monitoring and assessment, and financing and supports. It also includes findings on meeting the needs of infants and toddlers, school-age children, culturally and linguistically diverse children, and children with special needs within QRIS standards. The report includes recommendations for the implementation of QRIS, as well as the alignment of QRIS other components of the early childhood system.