The Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Evaluation Toolkit
The use of Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRISs) is continually expanding across the country; in 2010, there were 25 states operating or piloting QRISs and now nearly every other state is planning to or has already begun developing a QRIS or another quality improvement (QI) initiative (Tout, Starr, Soli, Moodie, Kirby, and Boller 2010; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010b). As federal and state funds are invested in efforts to improve the quality of child care and early childhood education through the development and implementation of QRIS initiatives, there is an increasing need for informative and rigorous evaluation of the implementation of QRIS; the weaknesses and strengths in its operation; the validation of the tools used by the QRIS; and the progress made in achieving desired outcomes for child care programs, families, children, and the early childhood education system. Recognizing this need, the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is supporting the Child Care Quality Rating System Assessment (QRS Assessment) project. The goal of the QRS Assessment is to provide information, analysis, and resources about QRISs for states and other stakeholders.