What Are My State QRIS Requirements and Available Resources?


The Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) is designed as “a systematic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early and school-age care and education programs.”

Each state rates childcare and early learning centers slightly differently based on these national guidelines. Generally, states award a maximum of three or five stars based on how well the childcare meets the state’s standards. 

Many common areas of QRIS requirements include the following.

  • Assessments
  • Curriculum
  • Environment and interactions
  • Health and safety
  • Partnering with the family for education at home
  • Program administration
  • Hiring practices that include strong qualifications and ongoing training programs

Why is the QRIS Important?

QRIS enables parents to be informed about the care their child will receive if the parent selects a certain childcare center. Parents can better understand the impacts that various types of early childhood education centers can have on their child’s learning and development.

It also helps to make these centers accountable. That way, donors, taxpayers and legislators know where to invest based on their priorities. 

Is Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Mandatory?

No, you are not required to take part in your state’s QRIS program, unless you plan to take advantage of state subsidies. Centers that engage in the QRIS program and receive higher ratings are also more likely to receive higher subsidies. 

Do All States Rate the Quality of Your Childcare the Same?

Although there are national QRIS guidelines, each state can adjust and modify these guidelines to fit their needs. That means that each state has different quality childcare standards. 

For larger childcare facilities that operate centers in multiple states, this can make things far more challenging than if QRIS for childcare was the same nationwide.

QRIS Benefits for Parents

  • Greater clarity on what a good childcare center looks like
  • A simpler framework for understanding curriculums and educational objectives a center
  • Comfort in knowing the staff members are highly qualified
  • Improved confidence in their selection of a childcare program
  • Excellent education options for their child, including modern philosophies, better technology and standards

QRIS Benefits for Childcare Centers

  • Marketing opportunities that show why your center is a great option for parents
  • Support from their state QRIS team
  • Teacher professional development programs
  • Financial incentives and subsidies, depending on your state

How Do I Find My State’s QRIS Requirements?

The Quality Compendium makes it simple to learn more about your state’s QRIS requirements so you can begin your path to improving the quality of your childcare center. Just click on your state on the interactive map to learn more about the program in your area. 

Your state might require that you have the latest technology to track crucial elements of your center, such as:

Childcare Software Demo

iCare Software offers the tools and technology you need to qualify for your state’s QRIS program. Schedule a free demo today to begin your pathway to these ratings.

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