CHS Blog

The New Child Care Rating System, QRIS

The New Child Care Rating System, QRIS
Posted on March 15, 2017 by CHS

The Quality Rating and Improvement System, QRIS, is a nationwide effort to improve the quality of child care centers and preschools and empower parents with the knowledge to choose the best care for their children. The system has been in place in California since 2014, largely through the support of First 5 California and local county First 5 commissions. In addition to giving parents a quick way to assess the quality of their child care provider, the system also provides training and support for providers to improve the quality of their programs.

The standards for QRIS are set by the California Department of Education. The department looks at the areas of teachers-child relationships, safety and the environment, teacher and site director qualifications, the curriculum, health and development, and teacher-child ratios. These state-wide standards can also be supplemented with additional standards at each county’s discretion. For example, some counties also evaluate parent engagement and bi-lingual staff.

To rate a facility, evaluators from the local First 5 or county office of education make site visits, during which time they look at the facility, the records, and the curriculum. They also observe the providers at work. The facility is assigned a rating and providers that are scored low are given coaching and technical assistance to improve their score.

So far, only 3,300 centers in California have been evaluated, with priority going to centers that are serving low-income children, English learners, and children with disabilities. If you are interested in finding out of your center has been evaluated, you can call your local First 5 commission or county office of education.

Find your local First 5 Commission here:

Find your local county office of education here:

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