Arkansas

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.

QRIS Resource Guide Examples

Provider Incentives and Support

Comprehensive, Statewide Training Opportunities Support Arkansas Providers

Arkansas always had a rich offering of early childhood coursework for child care providers, but with the launch of Better Beginnings, training was aligned with the QRIS criteria to support providers in attaining higher star levels.  Some of the more innovative training that is available includes:

  • Orientation training for directors and family child care providers, and pre-employment training for people that are new to the field of child care.
  • Certificate programs for administrators, caregivers, and child care specialists based on ages of children served.
  • A 30 hour course providing an introduction to the AR Early Childhood Education Framework that includes curriculum development, planning activities, assessment and evaluation and portfolio development.  There is also a 12 hour course on the Infant Toddler Framework.
  • Two 30 hour courses that focus on language and literacy development and on math and science strategies in working with young children.
  • A 45 hour course addressing strategies and activities to ensure healthy social emotional development in programs for children ages 3-5 years.
  • Welcome the Children training and technical assistance to assist early childhood professionals to better understand diversity, appreciate cultural differences and similarities, learn strategies to support English Language Learners, and promote inclusion.

Arkansas Validates Standards

Arkansas developed their QRIS standards over several years affording them the opportunity to have a group of researchers compare the standards to what research says about these measures, i.e., validated their standards and offering the opportunity to make adjustments.  Recommendations from the researchers were as follows.

  1. Reduce Redundancy—Exclude content areas in the Strengthening Families component that are already measured with the PAS and ERS assessments.
  2. Use Measures as Written and Tested—Do not exclude items from the PAS assessment since this reduces it validity and reliability.
  3. Designate teacher-child ratios above the minimum in licensing. This standard is present in other state rating systems and other systems such as accreditation and Head Start.
  4. Incorporate process measures because they are stronger predictors of child outcomes and collect evidence of them through independent observation.
  5. Address lower levels of quality in the QRIS—Level 1 should be designated “getting ready” and the minimum ERS score to designate quality should be revisited.
  6. Address higher levels of quality—Develop levels of quality beyond the current highest level to encourage programs to improve to level that promotes optimal child development.
  7. Include child screening as a measure—It will lead to better child outcomes and early intervention is more effective.

Additional information is available at http://www.arbetterbeginnings.com/downloads/FULL%20REPORT.pdf.