What is QRIS?

QRIS (Quality Rating and Improvement System) is a method for assessing the quality of child care programs. The intent of these systems is to provide a more organized way to assess and improve the quality of early childhood education programs that families may be considering for the care of their children.

Nearly half of the states across America set their own program quality standards, aligning with state specific QRIS frameworks. A Quality Rating and Improvement System is similar in concept to the ways that hotels and restaurants are rated, making it simple for educators, policymakers and parents alike to understand.

A QRIS program awards quality ratings to early childhood and school-age education centers that meet the defined framework standards. When a child care provider participates in their state’s QRIS, this means that they are committed to following a path towards continuous improvement. When a child care facility meets even the lowest levels set out by the QRIS, they are still recognized as having achieved a higher level of quality that exceeds the minimum requirements needed to operate by law.

What is the Goal of QRIS?


The aim of a Quality Rating and Improvement System is to uphold standards of quality for early childhood education. The system is referred to as QRIS in order to recognize the two major goals of these systems: both rating and improvement equally. With its standards rooted in research and best practice, a QRIS monitors and assesses child care providers to determine how well they are meeting these standards of quality.

What is QRIS Doing for Parents?

A QRIS allows parents to better evaluate preschool options and help them to choose a high-quality program. When evaluating potential child care centers, parents in the U.S can look to the QRIS rating to help them feel confident in their care decision.

How Does QRIS Help Policymakers?

A QRIS benefits state level policymakers by providing the tools to improve early childhood education licensing and review. The program also requires child care providers to be accountable, so that legislators and the public can feel confident in continuing to invest in child care.

How Does QRIS Benefit Child Care Providers?

Child care programs can receive support from their state QRIS team, including technical assistance for conducting assessments and developing improvement plans, as well as professional development opportunities for Educators looking to advance their skills. Some QRIS programs offer financial incentives to care providers to encourage further improvement and to help maintain quality.

How Does QRIS Benefit Children?

By promoting quality care and educational advancement in early years education, children take advantage of the latest philosophies, technologies and standards for childcare.

To learn more about QRIS and how it will impact your preschool, subscribe to HiMama Blog. In upcoming posts, we’ll explore how QRIS impacts your business and how it can benefit you and the children you provide care for.

Ron Spreeuwenberg

Ron is the Co-Founder & CEO of HiMama, where he leads all aspects of a social purpose business that helps early childhood educators improve learning outcomes for children.

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