Pennsylvania

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

Performance Benchmarks for the Quality Improvement System Within Pennsylvania's QRIS

A QRIS needs clear expectations and standards for the support systems that assist programs. Pennsylvania’s accountability system for the Regional Keys originally focused on inputs such as employing qualified staff, meeting reporting obligations, and achieving outcomes defined as increasing the proportion of programs reaching higher Keystone STARS (Standards, Training/Professional Development, Assistance, Resources, and Support) levels in the region. This approach could not measure the improvement STARS programs made within a STARS level. To address this, a three-level rubric was created in each standard to differentiate gradations of practice in a level, using the qualifiers of “good enough,” “better,” or “best.” This rubric is also expected to improve a program’s understanding of how it is progressing and provide guidance to help it improve. Additional information is available at http://www.pakeys.org/pages/starsDocs.aspx

Data Collection and Evaluation

Pennsylvania Uses Integrated Data Systems in Support of a QRIS

Pennsylvania Enterprise to Link Information for Children Across Networks (PELICAN) is an integrated child and early learning information management system. In addition to automating and centralizing many of the functions required to administer the subsidized child care program (Child Care Works), it expanded to automate the inspection and certification (licensing) process of child care providers, the administrative processes and data collection efforts for the PA Pre-K Counts and Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality (Keystone STARS) initiatives, and the data collection and analytics to support the Early Learning Network (ELN), which is a longitudinal database and tracking system for children in Pennsylvania early learning programs. PELICAN users include Child Care Information Service agencies, County Assistance Offices, Regional Keys (the administrators of the Keystone STARS program), PA Pre-K Counts grantees, as well as teachers and administrators for Head Start State supplemental programs, school districts that provide prekindergarten, providers of child care, and others. Families are also able to screen themselves for potential eligibility for child care subsidies, search for providers, and apply for services online. This initiative allows the Office of Child Development and Early Learning and the Regional Keys to track providers, manage STARS, identify resources that were deployed at a program, and manage STARS grant information in the Keystone STARS rating system.  A next phase of development will focus on how to integrate the existing trainer and training registry, the Pennsylvania Quality Assurance System, into PELICAN and make it accessible from the PA Key Web site. An overview of the ELN is available at http://www.ncsl.org/portals/1/documents/Educ/PAEarlyChild-Stedron.pdf.