Building Support for QRIS through Communications and Community Outreach

Kelly Swanson
Tue, 06/25/2013 - 2:00pm - 3:00pm

The BUILD Initiative and the QRIS National Learning Network hosted the fifth webinar in our "Let's Talk" series, Building Support for QRIS through Communications and Community Outreach:

Effective outreach is critical to the success of a state’s quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). As a state is building its QRIS system, it needs to garner support from providers, families, and policymakers.  States need to effectively recruit and retain providers in the program, build parent demand for quality, and demonstrate to elected officials and policymakers that QRIS is working. Regardless of the size of a state’s budget or how developed the QRIS system may be, states can implement communications and outreach strategies to build awareness of the importance of quality early learning, what quality looks like, and specifically how the QRIS builds quality.  Strategies, success and lessons learned from Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Washington were shared and A Practical Outreach Guide for a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), a new resource by Kelly Swanson for the BUILD Initiative’s QRIS National Learning Network, was released.

Speaker Biography:

Kelly Swanson is the Communications and Public Policy Director for the Pennsylvania Key where she develops communications strategies and materials for the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning, provides communications support to community groups and early childhood education programs, and manages the Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children public awareness campaign that she created.

Prior to joining the Pennsylvania Key, Kelly was Communications Manager at the Pennsylvania Child Care Association for four years, where she won a Silver IABC/Harrisburg Capital Award for her “Invest in Quality from the Start” public awareness campaign posters.


Ericca Maas, Executive Director at Parent Aware for School Readiness (PASR) in Minnesota

Amy Blondin, Legislative Liaison for the Washington State Department of Early Learning

Cynthia Bell, President of Bell Public Relations & Marketing

Web Resources:

Early Achievers (Washington) -

Parent Aware (Minnesota) -

Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children (Pennsylvania) -

Weber. R. (2011). Understanding Parents’ Child Care Decision-Making: A Foundation for Policy Making, OPRE Research-to-Policy, Research-to-Practice Brief OPRE 2011-12.