New Year, New Strategies for Quality Improvement

Jan 09, 2012

By Christine Johnson-Staub

The New Year brings resolutions of self improvement. What about your state child care and early education system? Has it made a resolution to improve quality? Or a resolution to reach more low-income and disadvantaged children with high-quality early childhood services? If your state is contemplating how to move forward on its goals to build a quality early childhood system this year, the following resources may help:

Many states are starting 2012 with a focus on Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS).

  • States that are looking to create, expand, or improve QRIS as part of their overall quality improvement plan may find useful strategies in Meeting the Early Learning Challenge: A Checklist for a High Quality QRIS. The piece offers ideas for shaping QRIS policy to engage all regulated settings, reach high-needs populations of children, and implement program supports and monitoring.
  • High-quality programming should build from a solid licensing foundation. CLASP's presentation, The Relationship Between Licensing and QRIS: Challenges and Opportunities, provides a framework for aligning and managing the relationship between QRIS and licensing, while building a cohesive quality system that starts with a strong foundation of licensing and effectively moves children into programs with higher levels of quality.

States considering strategies to increase the number of disadvantaged children receiving high quality child care should reflect on which children comprise their disadvantaged and high needs populations and consider policies that support infants, toddlers, and English language learners (ELL), among others, in child care and early education settings.

Experts say that taking small, concrete steps is the best way to successfully keep a New Year's resolution. So if your state is committed to improving access to high quality child care this year, get started by checking out the resources CLASP has to identify specific strategies to build quality early childhood systems.

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