Quality Rating and Improvement System

Minnesota's next governor should support a statewide quality rating and improvement system for early learning programs.

VISION: With a statewide quality rating and improvement system (QRIS):

  • Parents are empowered to become savvy consumers, and have easily accessible information about the quality of early care and education programs.
  • Programs and providers use one streamlined set of standards that are connected to supports and fiscal incentives to help them meet and maintain the standards.
  • Policymakers understand where and how to invest additional resources.
  • The public feels confident that their tax dollars are invested in quality opportunities.

WHAT: A quality rating and improvement system is a method to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early care and education programs. All children have the right to attend good programs that promote their development and learning. High-quality care and education programs include: highly skilled teachers; age-appropriate curricula and stimulating materials in a safe physical setting; a language rich environment; warm, responsive interactions between staff and children; high and consistent levels of child participation; and small class sizes and low adult-to-child ratios.

A QRIS typically has five components:
1. Standards
2. Monitoring and Accountability
3. Program and Practitioner Supports
4. Fiscal Incentives
5. Family and Consumer Engagement

WHY: High quality early care and education is a critical element in helping children to be ready for school. A quality rating and improvement system provides accountability that quality standards are being met.

IT’S A GOOD INVESTMENT: While we now have a greater appreciation of the importance of the early years, we currently do not have an early learning system that adequately supports the needs of our youngest citizens.