National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance

The National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance (ECQA Center) supports state and community leaders and their partners in the planning and implementation of rigorous approaches to quality in all early care and education settings for children from birth to school age. The Center's expert staff use collaborative approaches to do the following:

  • Advance strong health and safety standards and licensing regulations that align with the Child Care and Development Fund and Head Start Performance Standards.
  • Support the development and enhancement of state quality initiatives, including quality rating and improvement systems.
  • Enhance quality assurance systems through the use of technology, data analysis, and research that promote continuous quality improvement, efficiency, and innovation.

Contact Us

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If you are new to your role within your state’s quality rating and improvement system (QRIS), the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance is pleased to provide you with an opportunity to join a group of individuals who are also new to the QRIS work.

Highlighted Tools


The National Database of Child Care Licensing Regulations is a tool for finding and searching state child care licensing regulations and licensing agency contact information. It also includes links to other state and national early childhood program standards.

The Program Standards Crosswalk is a tool designed to help States that are developing and aligning program standards for licensing, quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS), and/or prekindergarten programs, to search and compare the content of several sets of national standards.

The QRIS Resource Guide provides guidance for States as they explore key issues and consider decision points during the planning and implementation of a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS).

The Provider Cost of Quality Calculator (PCQC) is a tool that calculates the cost of care by levels of quality based on site-level provider data. The tool can help state policymakers, child care providers, and other stakeholders understand the costs associated with delivering high-quality child care services.

State Success Stories

Resources and Information

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85 resources found.

Given the growing recognition of family child care (FCC) as a significant sector of the early care and education (ECE) field, there is a need for understanding effective quality improvement approaches that engage and sustain provider participation in regulatory systems and quality improvement ini

States and Territories collect different types of data, including, for example, data captured by child care licensing and subsidy agencies and by quality rating and improvement systems. This guide focuses on one of these: administrative data related to child care licensing.

The National Center for Early Childhood Quality Assurance, in partnership with the BUILD Initiative, worked with state teams in the process of reexamining the structure and operation of their quality initiatives system, including Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS).

This webinar, held Sept. 26, 2017, introduced three new resources from the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance that focus on building the supply of high quality family child care through staffed family child care (FCC) networks.

As States and Territories work to implement new Child Care and Development Fund requirements, many are considering how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their licensing monitoring systems.

This brief includes a description of family child care networks and addresses supports a staffed family child care network can provide, particularly to special populations (family, friend, and neighbor care, license-exempt providers, English language learners, and dual language learners); the ess

This technical assistance manual is written for leaders and stakeholders at the state, regional, and local levels who are planning to offer supports to the family child care (FCC) provider community through staffed FCC networks.

The Family Child Care Network Cost Estimation Tool (CET) is designed to assist State, regional and local organizations in better understanding the costs associated with operating a staffed family child care (FCC) network.

Having clearly written, research-based, measurable licensing requirements is the first step in protecting children from health and safety risks and promoting quality care.

A technical assistance resource document that outlines the knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, and other characteristics that a licensor of child care programs needs in order to perform his or her job duties successfully.