In June 2013, a workgroup of Connecticut’s Early Childhood Education Cabinet issued the report, A Quality Rating and Improvement System for Connecticut, which included a set of recommendations to establish a block system for quality rating of early childhood programs. The system design includes recommendations for structure, standards, rating and monitoring, and financial incentives for programs that demonstrate higher levels of quality. The plan builds on Connecticut’s successful Accreditation Facilitation Project and includes valid and reliable environmental rating scales to increase program quality. A public awareness campaign designed to educate consumers and stakeholders about the standards, criteria and indicators is also part of the system.
Connecticut’s QRIS, ConneCT to Quality, is founded on five standard areas defined in incremental, measurable steps to assist programs to achieve higher levels of quality. Connecticut’s standards address Health and Safety; Learning Environment; Workforce Qualifications and Professional Development; Family Engagement and Support; and Leadership and Management. Participation in the system is required for the following programs:
1. School Readiness Programs
2. State Contracted Child Day Care Centers
3. State-funded Head Start and Early Head Start
4. Licensed Centers serving 10% or more children with Care 4 Kids child care subsidies
5. Licensed Family Child Care providers serving one or more Care 4 Kids subsidized child
Additional programs may participate voluntarily.
To ensure that programs participating in ConneCT to Quality improve their quality over time and accept and recruit children with high needs, Connecticut is building the following:
- Regulatory and policy changes to improve licensing requirements and provide incentives to participate in the QRIS. Potential policy changes include reexamining licensing exemptions and linking the federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) child care subsidies to program licensure.
- A system of incentives to reward programs for pursuing or attaining high levels of quality and providing care for children with high needs.
- The creation of technical assistance centers that will provide free, high-quality technical assistance, professional development, coaching, and consultation that is relevant to Family, Friend, and Neighbor care providers (FFN),family child care homes, centers, and schools by providing setting- and content-specific technical assistance to help programs advance through the tiers of ConneCT to Quality.
Organization: Connecticut Office of Early Childhood
QRIS State Profile
This profile is from the QRIS Compendium—a comprehensive resource for information about all of the QRIS operating in the U.S. and its Territories. It was developed by a partnership of the BUILD Initiative, the Early Learning Challenge Collaborative, and Child Trends.