Quality Rating and Improvement Systems Framework

A QRIS is not just about ratings or a stand alone program to improve quality, it is a unique tool for system reform that has the potential to reach programs that serve a wide range of children and are financed by many public and private sources, including parent fees. A well designed QRIS provides the following:

  • Quality assurances by creating and aligning program and professional standards and assessing and monitoring how well programs meet those standards
  • Supply-side intervention that link QRIS standards and participation with:
    • Program supports including: technical assistance and coaching
    • Professional Development supports including: training and scholarships
    • Financial supports including: grants, bonuses, differential reimbursement, wage supplements and tax credits
  • Demand side intervention designed to influence consumer ECE choices by providing:
    • an easy-to-understand consumer guide to quality (star rating) and public education to assure consumers understand its meaning and use
    • links between higher quality child care choices and financial incentives such as tax credits and differential reimbursement

QRIS are a framework for an ECE System. A well-designed QRIS has all the elements of a high functioning standards-based system, as demonstrated by the graphic below.

A Standards-Based ECE System Design

*Alliance for Child Care Financing. (2007). Quality Rating and Improvement Systems: A Powerful Policy for Improving and Unifying Early Care and Education.