By Gail L. Zellman, Michal Perlman Perlman

Discusses the improvement and implementation of child-care caliber score and development structures (QRISs) in Oklahoma, Colorado, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, delivering thoughts for QRIS improvement and refinement.

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They must make many complex decisions as they develop their plans. , whether to focus resources on quality assessments or limit assessments so that more funds are available for QI support). Such decisions have profound effects on the system, yet there is little organized information about how to make these decisions. Such knowledge is important because designing effective QRISs is a challenging task. QRIS are complex structures that involve multiple goals, public and private sectors, and multiple stakeholders of different backgrounds.

The revised process is based on new Early Childhood Program Standards. The process has also changed: There are now four steps and new forms, terminology, and deadlines. The process still requires annual reports, involves random unannounced visits, and requires programs to report major status and program changes. The accreditation criteria have been field-tested by the Center for Improving Child Care Quality at the University of California, Los Angeles (NAEYC, 2005). 2 The ERS includes a Parents and Staff subscale that relies on questions asked of care providers.

Public funding tied to quality might, over time, constitute another incentive for providers to devote time and resources to quality improvement. This combination of widespread use of a QRIS; targeted QI efforts, including funding to providers to implement a QRIS-based QI plan; widespread dissemination of quality information; and public funding linked to quality constitutes an accountability system that will theoretically raise the overall quality of care. QRISs have proved popular with state legislatures in recent years because they represent a conceptually straightforward way to improve child-care quality that does not require immediate investment of large amounts of capital.

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