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

Standards and Criteria

Blocks Plus Points, Standards for Iowa's QRIS

In developing the Iowa Quality Rating System, a workgroup developed an initial draft using a block approach. The specific criteria involved were shared widely to gather significant public input. This input indicated that providers overwhelmingly felt that the specific criteria were too restrictive and, for some programs, would be impossible to meet. Based on the public input, the workgroup developed a hybrid system, in which levels one and two are the same for all programs (differentiated for home and centers), and levels three through five are based on points that can be earned in categories of quality indicators. Programs must earn at least one point in each category for levels three through five. This approach was seen as giving an assurance of basic quality requirements being met for all programs, also allowing flexibility for programs that want to achieve higher levels. The QRS was recalibrated in February 2011, and now requires all Level 5 programs to achieve a minimum ERS score of 5.0 in each assessed classroom.  Achievement bonuses are awarded based on the capacity and rating level of the program. Additional information is available at

Quality Assurance and Monitoring

Alternative Approaches to Meeting Requirements in Iowa

In the Iowa Quality Rating System, a center director can meet a professional development standard by having a current National Administrator Credential, an Aim4Excellence credential, or a license as a Pre-Kindergarten principal issued by the Board of Educational Examiners. Iowa also accepts different criteria at the Level 1–Licensing Level: full license OR a provisional license with no action to revoke or deny OR operates under the authority of an accredited school district or nonpublic school. Additional information is available at