States may recognize accreditation by a national accrediting body as a measure of quality. There are several national accrediting bodies that typically focus on specific child care settings and ages of children served.
States that incorporate national accreditation systems into their quality rating and improvement systems (QRISs) generally do so as equivalent to, or required for, higher levels of quality. Most states accept more than one national accreditation and typically base this decision on a comparison of the accreditation standards with their QRIS requirements. Several states have developed online crosswalks that are used to compare several sets of standards (such as state standards, accreditation, and Head Start Program Performance Standards).
Lead Agencies may be asked in the CCDF Plan whether their state supports child care providers in the voluntary pursuit of accreditation by a national accrediting body with demonstrated, valid, and reliable program standards of high quality.
The Quality Compendium is a comprehensive resource for administrators, policy makers, researchers, technical assistance providers and others for information about all of the Quality Initiatives operating in the US and its territories. Features of the Quality Compendium include: information on topics like rating, use of observational tools, and indicators; full state and locality QRIS profiles; functionality to create customizable data reports about specific Quality Initiative data elements; and useful analysis of some of the key facts about Quality Initiatives including accreditation.