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Where is Missouri’s child care quality rating and improvement system (QRIS)?

Where is Missouri’s child care quality rating and improvement system (QRIS)?


March 7, 2017 | By Tom Tu
Without a child care rating system in the state, parents are forced to use social media such as Yelp to gauge the quality of care at local child care providers.
Missouri QRIS

In 2012, a ban was placed on having a quality rating system for child care providers in Missouri. Since then, Missouri became the only state in the country without a rating system for child cares. The implications are that the state misses out on significant federal funding opportunities and parents are not able to accurately assess the quality of care their children receive at child care centers.

For example in 2014, the state was not able to compete for a $63.8 million preschool development grant from the US Department of Education. Furthermore, parents state that they are forced to use social media such as YELP to gauge the quality of care at local child care providers.

The good news is that in May 2016, Senate Bill 638 was approved to lift the ban on child care quality rating systems and begin a voluntary three-year pilot period. This bill was later signed by Governor Nixon in June 2016. The law went into effect in August 2016 and state departments are working to develop the rating system for release in 2018.

This will open opportunities for Missouri to apply for and receive millions in federal funding for early childhood education. For parents, it will mean the creation of an objective and standardized rating scale which can be used to compare local child care providers with. The existence of a quality rating system will not only rate the quality of providers, but also provide the incentives to encourage providers to improve on their service quality. For early childhood education, this will raise the overall quality of care in Missouri and allow more children to receive the experiences essential to their long-term development.

Why is QRIS important in early child care?

Having a quality rating and improvement system in place for early child care providers is important for three main reasons.

  1. By having a standardized, objective rating method, parents will have reliable information about the quality of local child care centers.
  2. Because child care centers are rated on a scale, a QRIS system also puts in to place incentives for child care centers to improve their rating. These incentives thereby help to raise the overall quality of care in the state over time.
  3. It will allow more and more young children to have the stimulating environments and experiences needed in their formative years for long-term developmental success. Studies on early childhood education have repeatedly shown the impact quality child care has on long-term development. For instance, the children are more likely to graduate from high school, less likely to engage in criminal activity, and earn higher wages throughout their lifetime.
QRIS

HiMama and Quality Rating

Child care providers are usually evaluated in 4 key areas: Staff Qualification & Training, Teaching Practices & Early Learning Programming, Family Engagement, and Child Health & Wellness. How your center chooses to use HiMama will vary based on the unique circumstances of your community, families, educators and attending children. However, we’ve provided some guidance on how HiMama will assist your early childhood program in improving the quality of care offered and achieve a higher rating.


KEY AREAS OF CARE HIMAMA APPLICATION
Staff Qualification & Training
  • Increase retention of high-level staff through teacher empowerment
  • Staff is applying mobile technology in the classroom to better align with expectations of the families
  • Provides professional growth and development activities, through numerous HiMama resources, including weekly blog articles, weekly podcasts for leaders in early childhood education, white papers and reports
  • Components of staff performance can be evaluated through the HiMama app, including classroom documentation quality and interactions with families
  • Family Engagement
  • HiMama enables early childhood programs to connect parents with the classroom by inviting them to participate in children’s experiences and in turn build all around trusting partnerships
  • Parents receive automatic individual updates and reports about their child’s experience and development in the early childhood program, including assessments to reflect on a child’s readiness for transitions to new programs or into school age programs
  • HiMama has created a parent handbook template that includes risk management strategies and communication plans
  • Teaching Practices & Early Learning Programming
  • Missouri Early Learning Standards is accessible for child care and early learning programs directly through the HiMama app, enabling assistance with lesson planning, developmental observations, online portfolios and development reports
  • HiMama electronic portfolios and development assessment reports can be shared with parents on an as-needed basis or by the schedule set by the early learning center / program
  • Visual documentation of classroom activities assists in evaluation of classroom setup and learning activities
  • Assess gaps in programming across learning domains
  • Child Health & Wellness
  • Children’s health and well-being is tracked through the HiMama app, including illnesses and injuries
  • Easily plan menus and weekly lesson plans (based on developmental domains)
  • Easily add health notes (e.g. allergies), immunization records, as well as any other health records/documents to each child’s online profile


  •   HiMama makes documentation and reporting of children’s learning and development in alignment with Missouri Early Learning Standards quick and easy so that educators can spend less time on documentation and paperwork and more time with children. Learn how HiMama can help you align to Missouri's upcoming quality guidelines without all the paperwork and late nights.


     


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