A quality rating improvement system (QRIS) is a sequential and systematic way to assess, improve and communicate the quality of early care and education programs. A comprehensive QRIS results in:
Grow NJ Kids is New Jersey's Quality Rating and Improvement System. The New Jersey Council for Young Children's Program Improvement Committee, composed of key state agencies and stakeholders, utilized findings from the NJ BUILD QRIS pilot (2007-2011), as well as lessons learned from the implementation of the State pre-school program, standards from national models for excellence such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children and Head Start, and research and best practices from other states already implementing a QRIS such as the Massachusetts Tiered QRIS, to create New Jersey's Quality Rating and Improvement System - Grow NJ Kids.
There are 6 main components to the Grow NJ Kids plan:
The Grow NJ Kids tool for child care centers is organized as a progression of measureable, increasing levels of program quality: Level I programs meet basic licensing standards, while Level 5 programs must demonstrate positive child outcomes as determined by a variety of research based assessment tools. Programs must meet a set of quality standards in five categories for each level -early learning standards, family and community engagement, health and safety standards, workforce qualifications and program management - in order to achieve a designated level rating.
The tool can be used by center-based providers, Head Start Centers and pre-school programs operated by school districts. A similar instrument for family child care providers will be developed in 2014.