QRIS in the Spotlight as States Prepare to Submit Early Learning Challenge Applications

Oct 03, 2011

By Christine Johnson-Staub

To be successful in the Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) application, a state must have, or be in the process of designing, a statewide tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS).  While more than half of states currently have these systems in place, the race is on among all ELC competitors to decide and describe how their QRIS will meet the challenges of reaching all licensed child care and early education settings and increasing the number of high needs children in high quality programs.

To guide states through specific QRIS policies they can include in their RTT-ELC application, CLASP has released Meeting the Early Learning Challenge: A Checklist for a High Quality QRIS . Policy recommendations address:

  • Increasing participation in the state QRIS, across settings;
  • Strengthening the Content of the state QRIS to ensure it serves the highest need children; and
  • Strengthening monitoring and supports to ensure an effective QRIS.

The brief provides an overview of policy recommendations and steps for both states with a QRIS and those that are getting started with designing a QRIS.

States looking to improve their chances in the Early Learning Challenge may also want to tap several recent CLASP publications, including guidance on building relationships between licensing and QRIS and  strategies for incorporating cultural competence into QRIS.

A Checklist for a High Quality QRIS is part of CLASP's Meeting the Challenge series, which can be found on CLASP's RTT-ELC resource page. The series also includes Better Child Care Subsidies and Supporting English Language Learners (forthcoming).

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