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Childcare Quality
QRIS Systems and Professional Development 


(links to source documents are in the postings below)

1. Implementation of Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement Systems 2019 - IES
2. Childcare Quality Compendium - Quality Compendium Childcare Quality Compendium video 
3. Best Practices in QRIS Systems - OPRE Research Brief
4. QRIS Impact on Quality and Parent Choice - Brookings
5. Measures Used in QRIS Validation Studies - OPRE Research Brief
6. Childcare Environmental Rating Scales (ECERS) - University of North Carolina
7. Developmental Screenings in QRIS Systems - Brookes 
The video provides a great introduction to QRIS systems
Implementation of Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement Systems
in States that Received Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge Grants
Post #1
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"Four recent publications describe the progress of nine states that received Round 1 Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grants in implementing systems that rate early learning and development programs on quality and help them improve.

These systems are known as tiered quality rating and improvement systems (TQRIS). RTT-ELC had five TQRIS objectives:

(1) developing and adopting a common, statewide TQRIS;

(2) promoting participation in the TQRIS;

(3) rating and monitoring programs;

4) promoting access to high quality programs for children with high needs by increasing the number of programs in the top levels of the TQRIS, and increasing the number and percentage of children with high needs who are enrolled in programs in the top levels; and

(5) validating the effectiveness of the TQRIS.


• State TQRIS validation studies found that children attending programs with higher TQRIS ratings generally did not have better developmental outcomes than those attending programs with lower TQRIS ratings. (NCEE 2019-4001)

• Lack of data prevents addressing the question of whether the number of children with high needs enrolled in TQRIS programs at the top rating levels has increased. None of the nine states could provide data for all programs on the numbers of children enrolled, or the numbers of children with high needs (such as those from low-income households) enrolled. States provided complete data on programs’ capacity (the maximum number of children a program could serve) for only one type of program (licensed centers). (NCEE 2019-4000)

• States differed substantially in how they promoted TQRIS participation, defined quality standards, verified that programs met standards, and calculated ratings. For example, states varied in whether they made participation mandatory for certain types of programs, offered alternative pathways into higher rating levels, or offered financial incentives tied to higher ratings. They also differed in the number of and definitions for components used in their ratings and how they combined components to calculate ratings. (NCEE 2018-4003)

• TQRIS participation in the nine states increased by 10 percentage points from 2014 to 2016. Just under half (48 percent) of all center-based programs (that is, programs operating in community- or school-based settings) participated in TQRIS by 2016. (NCEE 2019-4000)

• While most states increased the percentage of programs rated at top TQRIS levels, most center-based programs (68 percent) remained at the same rating level during the study period. Most of the programs rated at the top two levels at the end of the study period had achieved that rating before the first year examined or at TQRIS entry (73 percent), rather than improving their rating over time. (NCEE 2019-4000)

• While the percentage of licensed centers receiving child care subsidies rated at the top two TQRIS ratings increased from 31 to 39 over the study period, only 30 percent of the total capacity of these centers was in centers rated at the top levels. We focused on the capacity of licensed centers receiving subsidies (which represent 46 percent of TQRIS participating programs) because they likely serve more children with high needs than other licensed centers. (NCEE 2019-4000)

• State TQRIS validation studies showed that although programs with higher TQRIS ratings also had higher scores on independent measures of quality in most states (7 of 8 states), the overall level of quality for programs with high TQRIS ratings was not in the high range on these independent measures. For example, for most states that used Environmental Rating Scales as their measure of program quality, the average scores for both higher- and lower-rated programs fell in the minimal range (scores of 3 or 4 on a range of 1 to 7). (NCEE 2019- 4001)"

Post #2
Childcare Quality Compendium

The Quality Compendium is a catalog and comparison of quality initiatives including Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) to promote thoughtful design, analysis and ongoing improvement in early care and education systems building. Includes state-level profiles on child care quality initiatives   Their work focuses on 10 categories:

1)  Quality Initiative Growth

2)  Curriculum and Assessment

3)  Observational Tools,

4)  Types of Indicators,

5)  Licensing,

6)  Density,

7)  Financial Incentives,

8)  Mission and Goals,

9)  Infants and Toddlers and

10) Professional Development

Best Practices in
Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) 
Post #3
The brief summarizes an analysis that uses the data from six large studies of early care and education to simulate state QRIS ratings.
The results suggest that QRIS ratings can achieve their desired goal of predicting gains in child outcomes when attention is paid to the psychometric principles of scale development including: dimensionality (ensuring that a scale represents one, not multiple dimensions), selecting items with strong evidence, and scoring items using established criteria for cut points.
The analysis provided significant validation —albeit modest, in terms of the strength of associations—of almost all of the carefully selected quality measures of classroom experiences. This finding was observed when measures were analyzed as individual quality indicators and when they were combined into a summary QRIS rating of classroom experiences. It also held true whether focusing only on structural indicators, or including both structural and process indicators of quality.
QRIS Impact on Program Quality and
Parent Childcare Choices
Post #4
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“Overall, we still do not know the effects of QRIS on children’s long-run trajectories and on the substantial differences in early childhood learning opportunities across groups. Nonetheless this new research demonstrates that a well-designed QRIS system can both encourage programs to improve and provide parents with information that they value in making choices for their children’s care.”

“Systematic differences across groups by income, race, ethnicity, home language, and geographic location are particularly troubling because inequalities that appear early are often sustained through school and affect prospects throughout life.”


RB5-RB8 Note:  Many QRIS systems focus on “process, environmental, and staff qualifications” with limited attention to child outcomes (e.g. social-emotional, cognitive, language and literacy development).

Measures Used in QRIS Validation Studies
Post #5
This research brief addresses the need for an aggregate picture of the methods, measures, and analytic strategies being used in QRIS validation studies by summarizing the measures that researchers are currently using or plan to use.
A total of 19 QRIS validation studies were examined. All 19 of the validation studies are conducting analyses to assess how well items on the rating tool are working; 18 of the studies are assessing whether program quality ratings are different in meaningful ways; and, 16 studies are assessing whether quality ratings are related to measures of children’s development.
The Environment Rating Scales (ERS) and the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) are the most commonly used observation tools in validation studies; in contrast, the set of child development measures used in validation studies varied across state. The brief also summarizes some of the challenges that have been encountered in choosing a school readiness battery.
Childcare Environmental Rating Scales
Post #6
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There are four environment rating scales, each designed for a different segment of the early childhood field.

(ECERS-R) The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised: A thorough revision of the ECERS, designed to assess group programs for preschool-kindergarten aged children, from 2 through 5 years of age. Total scale consists of 43 items. (Also available in Spanish).

(ITERS-R) The Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised: A thorough revision of the ITERS, designed to assess group programs for children from birth to 2 ½ years of age. Total scale consists of 39 items. (Also available in Spanish).

(FCCERS-R) The Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale-Revised: A thorough revision of the FDCRS, designed to assess family child care programs conducted in a provider’s home. Total scale consists of 38 items. (Also available in Spanish).

(SACERS) The School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale: Designed to assess before and after school group care programs for school-age children, 5 to 12 years of age. The total scale consists of 49 items, including 6 supplementary items for programs enrolling children with disabilities.

Developmental Screenings in QRIS Systems
Post #7
Developmental Screening in qris Brooking
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