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Child Care Quality Improvement

National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance

The National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance (The 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:

  • 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 (QRIS).
  • Enhance quality assurance systems through the use of technology, data analysis, and research that promote continuous quality improvement, efficiency, and innovation.

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Highlighted Tools

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 Cost Estimation Model Tool is designed to help quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) administrators determine the costs of implementing all elements of a QRIS for their State, county or city.

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.

Featured State Highlight: New Improvements to Maine’s Licensing Program

Quality Assurance Center Resources and Information

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This document includes a table with direct Web site links to all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and 4 U.S. Territories’ child care licensing agencies and program regulations. This information is current as of January 2016 and will be updated periodically.

Using data compiled from state child care licensing regulations and the results of a survey of state licensing agencies administered by the National Association for Regulatory Administration, this brief examines the state of licensing child care centers in 2014 and identifies trends that ha

Using data compiled from state child care licensing regulations and the results of a survey of state licensing agencies administered by the National Association for Regulatory Administration, this brief examines the state of licensing family child care homes in 2014 and identifies trends that ha

Using data compiled from state child care licensing regulations and the results of a survey of state licensing agencies administered by the National Association for Regulatory Administration, this brief examines the state of licensing group child care homes in 2014 and identifies trends that hav

This issue brief includes a table with links to all state agency, child care resource and referral, and quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) Web sites.

This issue brief shares the experiences of six States (AR, AZ, IN, ND, NM, and UT) that have begun to address the challenges of monitoring exempt care.

This issue brief provides examples and brief descriptions of state Web sites that effectively direct families to specific support services and other supplemental resources.

This brief provides an overview of strategies that States and Territories can employ to promote and strengthen business practices and leadership in early childhood settings.

This issue brief focuses on how to support families in choosing quality care and understanding a QRIS.

This issue brief explores decision points in developing a monitoring system, including requirements; inspections; and processes for responding to violations, complaints, referrals, and appeals.

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