Latest Research

Latest Research: Accreditation and QRIS

From the QRIS Network…

Many states include national program accreditation within their QRIS framework. However, states vary in how and to what degree accreditation is recognized. Research conducted on data from the Illinois Quality Counts QRS by the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership examines the role of accreditation as an alternative pathway to quality in QRIS for center-based early childhood programs.

McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership (2013, Winter). Accreditation as an Alternative Pathway to Quality in QRIS, Research Notes. Wheeling, IL: McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership, National Louis University.

Research Notes, Accreditation as an Alternative Pathway to Quality in QRIS

Standards, Practices and Resources

From the National Center for Children in Poverty: Practices for Promoting Young Children’s Learning in QRIS Standards

About half of statewide Quality Rating Improvement Systems (QRIS) refer to the state’s
Early Learning Guidelines (ELGs), most often in standards that require staff training
in how to implement ELGs or the use of a curriculum or learning activities aligned
with ELGs. This brief provides a further examination of the strength of supports
for children’s early learning in QRIS standards and an analysis of QRIS standards.

To read the full report, click here.

Tech News

Seamless Intergration with other QRIS Data Providers

WELS delivers single sign-on technologies for its QRIS Portal. One of the challenges
of inter-connected web apps is the number of user names and passwords providers
need to remember. We are working on a set of standards to allow seamless integration
with other websites needed during the QRIS self-assessment process.

We have developed an open interface for authentication that support passing our
secured credentials to other websites like registries and assessment data collectors.
In this interface, a user simply clicks on a link and WELS sends them to the other
website using a secure protocol.  The linked website accepts WELS’ credentials for
the user and grants access accordingly.

This simplifies the providers’ online experience when applying for QRIS or submitting
self-assessments through the WELS Provider and Parent Portal.

And our method works across homogenous Web platforms. We can work with Windows,
Linux, Apple, Oracle, and IBM application servers.  By using open standards, our
solution is very easy to implement by other vendors and proprietary systems.

WELS portal


Back in 2009.

The Build Initiative  has made a priority in working to ensure that issues of equity and diversity are addressed within all early childhood systems development work.  BUILD has released a series of briefs that focus on how QRIS  strengthen and advance  issues of equity and diversity within QRIS rating components that are more culturally and linguistically competent and relevant. One of the briefs, Quality Rating and Improvement Systems for a Multi-Ethnic Society,written by Charles Bruner with Aisha Ray, Michelle Stover Wright and Abby Copeman, was to  based on the following questions:

  • Why it is important to include cultural and linguistic responsiveness and anti-bias programming as aspects of early learning quality;
  • A content-analysis of common QRIS components with respect to how they include issues of diversity and support for English-language learners;       
  • How states have included these issues in QRIS planning and development; and        
“As states mature in their QRIS development and implementation, QRIS are increasingly being seen as a framework for a larger early childhood system. Within this framework, QRIS define program/classroom quality and align these standards of quality to other system components. A QRIS can serve as a powerful driver of needed improvements in professional development, quality improvement interventions and funding for early care and education. These and other state and community policies and practices can be aligned with the quality standards contained within a QRIS, promoting broader systemic changes along with improvements in program quality. Therefore, ensuring that QRIS place value on including issues of race, language and culture has importance to the cultural and language responsiveness of the larger system.”
Sixteen states with QRIS were interviewed to determine to what extent QRIS indicators for program quality supported race, language, or culture  indicators.  There were three states – New Mexico, Indiana, and Pennsylvania that included  language, culture, or race within components or subscales of their QRIS.
To read the QRIS indicators developed by New Mexico and learn more about opportunities for QRIS to address diversity and multi-culturalism, please visit BUILD’s website:
Three additional resources from BUILD on QRIS, diversity and equity that are worth reading:
  1. Crafting Early Learning Standards for a Multi-Ethnic Society: Lessons Learned from Washington and Alaska  
  2. Constructing Culturally Competent Quality Rating and Improvement Systems: A Conversation       
  3. Developing a Diverse and Skilled Workforce: Lessons from the New Jersey Abbott Preschool Experience