New Resources From the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance

The National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance (ECQA Center) is pleased to announce the release of new and updated resources that support states and territories in the implementation of Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) requirements. These and other resources are available on the ECQA Center Web page

Program Standards

National Program Standards Crosswalk Tool

The Head Start Program Performance Standards1 and Child Care and Development Fund Regulations2, both issued in 2016, are now included in the National Program Standards Crosswalk Tool. The Crosswalk Tool is designed to help states and territories that are developing and aligning program standards for licensing, quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS), and prekindergarten programs to search and compare the content of several sets of national standards (e.g., Head Start, accreditation, Caring for Our Children).

Child Care Licensing

Developing and Revising Child Care Licensing Requirements

Having clearly written, research-based, measurable licensing requirements is the first step in protecting children from health and safety risks and in promoting quality care. Licensing requirements—supported by monitoring, enforcement, and technical assistance (TA)—provide protection through prevention and reduce risks to the health, safety, and well-being of children in care. This new document presents steps for developing and revising child care licensing requirements based on several states’ successful practices.

Key Competencies for Licensors of Child Care Programs

This new TA resource outlines the knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, and other characteristics that a licensor of child care programs needs to perform his or her job duties successfully. These key competencies for licensors of child care programs were developed through job-task analysis, with input from various state child care licensing programs, and a review of other professional competencies. Potential uses for this document include:

  • Assessing and updating job descriptions to reflect the desired competencies for the position
  • Recruiting, valuing, and retaining licensors who reflect the diversity of providers and families
  • Developing competency-based interview questions to help determine whether candidates possess the desired competencies
  • Evaluating existing or creating new staff orientation programs, ongoing training, and individualized professional development plans to enhance the desired competencies
  • Promoting the self-assessment and self-reflection of knowledge and skills
  • Supporting continuous quality improvement and leadership development
  • Incorporating competencies into the performance evaluation process.

Consumer Education

Designing Family-Friendly Consumer Education on Child Care

This new brief provides research-based information to support state and territory agency staff members as they design and implement family-friendly consumer education websites and other resources, such as QRIS programs. Consumer education efforts are undergoing revisions in response to provisions in the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 20143 and CCDF regulations. The brief provides information that will allow state leaders to understand the general applicability of research findings while acknowledging that multiple approaches are needed to address families’ diverse needs.


1 Head Start Program Performance Standards, 45 C.F.R. ch. XIII, Subchapter B (2016).

2 Child Care and Development Fund, 45 C.F.R. § 98 (2016).

3 42 U.S.C. §§ 9857–9858 (2015).