Rated Programs in QSSB
Licensed programs enrolled in QSSB are assessed and rated according to what research shows to be key components of quality early care, including adult-child interactions, learning environments and appropriate learning activities. Out of this, programs are given a quality rating ranging from one to five leaves. A one leaf rating represents those that are committed to quality improvement while five leaves means that the program far exceeds quality standards.
Quality standards are high, and reaching the quality levels is often a long-term process for child care and preschool programs. All programs enrolled in QSSB are committed to preparing kids for school and life and do so by adhering to an improvement plan created just for them. With the support of a QSSB coach, improvement plans outline goals and procedures to move a site towards even greater quality.
Update: Ratings are reissued every 3-5 years but, due to Covid-19 safety precautions, ratings have been on pause since 2020. In the meantime, all participating sites have and will continue to grow their quality and actively participate in professional development opportunities.
Rating Exempt Programs
In addition, some QSSB programs will not receive a rating at all. Reaching beyond the scope of more traditional environments like child care centers, licensed family child care, and state preschools, QSSB has extended its work to partner with alternative settings. Alternative settings are license-exempt providers and community-based programs like family resource centers, home-visiting programs, libraries, Boys and Girls Clubs and more. These settings are supported according to the same quality standards around three core areas: child development and school readiness, teacher qualifications, and overall program and environment. They also work according to a specific plan and with the support of a QSSB coach.
Finding Child Care
When finding the right child care or preschool program for your family's needs, it's important to keep in mind that ratings are just one of several factors to consider. Click here for more information and download a Keys to Quality checklist to help inform your decision-making process.
QUALITY START PROVIDER RATINGS
Far exceeds quality standards
Meets quality standards
Committed to quality improvement
Exceeds quality standards
Approaching quality standards
Program is enrolled in Quality Start but does not yet have a public rating
Types of child care and preschool programs
Center-based: A center setting often involves the care of larger groups of children in a commercial building. They are either owned and operated privately or associated with a larger corporation. They can be a part of a community center, religious organization, or non-profit.
Family Child Care: This is care offered from the home of a licensed provider. Many serve families with traditional and non-traditional schedules. Children may be of the same group, preschool age for example, or in mixed-age groups.
State-Preschool: State preschools are free programs for families who meet state income and family size criteria. These programs receive state funding and typically serve children 3 to 4 in preschool or pre-kindergarten classrooms.