Early childhood quality rating and improvement systems
- Systemic approach to assess and improve the quality in early and school-age care and education programs
- Systems generally define a set of program standards and award ratings to educational institutions that meet them
- Well-developed systems include quality standards, supports for providers, financial assistance and incentives, monitoring processes, and public engagement
- Can be implemented at the local, regional, or state level
Strength of evidence
Evidence level: Strong (second-highest tier)
Strong (second-highest tier)
Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps
All school-aged children
Outcomes and impact
- Some evidence for improved quality of participating early childhood programs
- Programs participating appear to improve over time
- Associated in some cases with increased cognitive skills, literacy growth, and school readiness among children
- Increase in parents' understanding of local early care and education quality landscape
Keys to successful implementation
- Note: This content is under review
- Working with care providers and schools to create a detailed plan and timeline, address availability of funding, and assess capacity allows for more seamless implementation of the rating system.
- Partnerships with local governments and monitoring organizations and building relationships with parents can generate support for quality rating systems and facilitate buy-in from educational service providers.
- Quality ratings systems should facilitate opportunities for providers to make improvements and boost their standing in rankings.