Quality Improvement

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

First created in the FY 2017 budget, the Quality Improvement program brings together an array of early education initiatives previously funded through separate line-items that focus on improving the quality of services provided to preschool-age kids throughout the state.

The Department of Early Education and Care states that this consolidation from six line items into one would have several benefits including:

• Identifying opportunities to focus multiple grants and funding streams towards common quality goals

• Better understanding the needs for additional funding.

There are many indicators used to assess the quality of early education and care programs. The Department of Early Education and Care uses the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) as a standard way to measure quality. QRIS utilizes five key indicators along with other standards to evaluate and determine each program's quality rating. The QRIS system has discrete levels (ranging from the initial level 1 to the highest ranking of level 5) that programs can attain based on meeting QRIS criteria. Implementation of QRIS means that all early education providers (including public school districts, private early education centers, or licensed family providers) can be evaluated on a unified system. For more information, see the Commonwealth’s QRIS site.

Quality Improvement funding can be used for several purposes including meeting standards set in QRIS, designing curriculum, assessing kids on measures of interest, developing the talent of early educators, and seeking accreditation for programs. These funds would also support the administrative personnel who oversee and implement quality improvement activities, such as the licensure process that ensures early education providers meet all state and federal requirements for staff training and facilities.

Additionally, Quality Improvement is designed to continue some support for existing programs that were previously implemented through separate funding, such as ensuring that early education services meet the needs of students with special needs.

Updated August 2016

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