Massachusetts Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)
To help improve the quality of licensed child care – in centers and family homes – and give families more information about the quality of their local child care options, the state Department of Early Education & Care has developed a Quality Ratings & Improvement System (QRIS). QRIS are similar to other consumer rating systems, in that they “rate” goods or services to provide customers with a better understanding about the quality of that item. 28 other states also have or are piloting versions of a QRIS.
QRIS typically have five components
- Standards – The QRIS standards build on the various standards already being used in the state, such as licensing, NAEYC, NAFCC, and Head Start Performance Standards, and organize them into one body of standards. The standards are usually categorized into a series of levels or steps, such as 1 – 5.
- Monitoring and Accountability - The measures the state will use to recognize where programs are in relation to the standards levels.
- Program and Practitioner Supports – The infrastructure to help programs meet and maintain the quality standards. The support infrastructure is built from current/existing resources (e.g., grants).
- Fiscal Incentives – The incentives to encourage programs and provididers/educators to pursue higher levels of quality.
- Family and Consumer Engagement – The way that the content of the QRIS is communicated to parents and programs.
Benefits to QRIS include
- Parents have easily accessible information about the quality of early care and education programs.
- Programs and providers use one streamlined set of standards that are connected to supports and fiscal incentives to help them meet and maintain the standards.
- Policymakers understand where and how to invest additional resources.
The QRIS Program Manager (QPM) is designed so that programs can:
- Create, View and Edit a QRIS Program Application
- Create a list of documentation that an individual program plans to submit to demonstrate how they meet the measurements for each of the QRIS standards
- Complete an on-line version of the QRIS Self-Assessment Worksheet to assist programs in identifying their self-assessed QRIS Level.
The QRIS Program Manager (QPM) is also designed to:
- Track the submission of program applications for QRIS ratings that includes each program’s self assessed QRIS level
- Support the management of the evaluation process of QRIS application and materials provided for review
- Generate summary Information and verification reports about each program’s approved QRIS Level.