Standards are agreed-upon markers of quality established in areas critical to effective programming and child outcomes. Standards create a common definition of quality for child care providers, policymakers, and the general public and can be used as a consumer education tool for parents. Program standards may be found in licensing standards, quality rating and improvement system standards, or other quality improvement initiatives.
Lead Agencies may be asked in the CCDF Plan whether their state is supporting the development or adoption of high-quality program standards relating to health, mental health, nutrition, physical activity, and physical development.
Resources: Program Standards
- The National Database of Child Care Licensing Regulations, from the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance, is a tool for finding and searching state child care licensing regulations and licensing agency contact information. It also includes links to other state early childhood program standards (i.e., QRIS, CCDF provider requirements, and prekindergarten).
- Indicators of Quality for Ratings QRIS 2016 Fact Sheet (2017), by the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance.
- QRIS Quality Standards Websites (2020), by the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance.