Developing a Standards-Based QRIS

BUILD Initiative’s QRIS National Learning Network partnered with the Office of Child Care’s National Center on Child Care Quality Improvement on this Learning Table.

Standards are the heart of a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). The content of standards defines quality and drives the quality improvement process. Standards delineate the rating process, specifying which documents, data or other sources of evidence must be presented. Standards identify which, if any, classroom or teacher observational instruments will be used as self-assessment tools and/or as measures of quality.

The efficiency and implementation expense of a QRIS is directly influenced by the complexity, extent and content of its standards and of the procedures to assess compliance with its standards. Provider participation rates and state costs are shaped by QRIS efficiency. Similarly, the degree to which a QRIS genuinely engages programs across the sectors of ECE (e.g., centers, homes, schools, Head Start and Early Head Start) is directly related to both the content of its standards and the ease of the application and documentation processes for its standards. 

This learning table will collectively offer guidance principles and recommendations for the development and revision of QRIS standards and state policy changes to support implementing an effective and efficient Quality Rating and Improvement System.