What is Quality Rated Child Care?

Quality Rated is Georgia’s system to determine, improve, and communicate the quality of programs that provide child care. Similar to rating systems for restaurants and hotels, Quality Rated assigns one, two or three stars to early education and school-age care programs that meet or exceed the minimum state requirements. By participating in Georgia’s voluntary Quality Rated program, child care providers make a commitment to work continuously to improve the quality of care they provide to children and families. Even providers that meet the lowest Quality Rated standards have achieved levels of quality above the minimum operating requirements. 

Quality Rated gives parents and families greater confidence in their child care choice because independent, credentialed experts in early education have assessed whether programs follow best practices, such as:

  • Employing qualified and well-trained teachers
  • Providing a safe, healthy and caring environment
  • Implementing individualized instruction
  • Offering a curriculum that prepares children for kindergarten
  • A focus on both active learning and social-emotional development
  • Engaging families
  • Providing a low teacher-student ratio

Choosing an early child care and education provider is an important decision. Research shows that high-quality early care and learning programs make children better prepared for school. Georgia’s Quality Rating and Improvement System gives parents a way to identify these programs.

In order to continue to receive Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) funding, eligible providers must be Quality Rated by December 31, 2020. 

What makes Quality Rated child care different?

Quality Rated assesses each early care and learning program individually. Each program submits a portfolio that highlights how the program complies with defined quality standards in areas such as family partnerships, teaching practices, and staff qualifications. Credentialed experts assess the classroom environment and staff/child interactions using internationally valid environment rating scales. Based on the portfolio and the environment rating scales, an overall rating of quality is assigned indicated by one to three stars. 

Any program with a star rating participates in Georgia’s Quality Rated and has agreed to meet standards that exceed the licensing requirements. While any rated program is of high quality, the stars mean:

One star – Program has demonstrated a commitment to meeting standards that exceed state health and safety requirements, meets several quality benchmarks, and scores sufficiently on the independent observation.

Two stars – Program has demonstrated a commitment to meeting standards that exceed state health and safety requirements, meets many quality benchmarks, and scores well on the independent observation.

Three stars – Program has demonstrated a commitment to meeting standards that exceed state health and safety requirements, meets numerous quality benchmarks, and scores high on the independent observation.

How do I choose the best early learning program for my family?

Choosing an early child care and education program is one of the most important decisions your family will make. With over 6,000 state licensed and monitored child care programs to choose from, the Quality Rated search tool can help you narrow them down. This tool allows families to view the program’s safety and inspection reports, hours, prices, teacher credentials, and transportation options. Parents can even search along their commute! It’s time to take the guesswork out of child care. Click here to try it now!

What are parents saying about Quality Rated?

Check out the quotes and be sure to click on the photos below to hear more about Quality Rated from Georgia parents.

“It is an incredible, free resource for Georgia parents that can help you find the child care services that are right for you.” – Ashley


“The Quality Rated system helps parents just like us find quality child care right here in Georgia.” – LaShawn

“With the assistance of Quality Rated’s free state-certified rating system search tool, finding the right child care is easier!” – Trina

“When you find programs on Quality Rated, you know those facilities are committed to making sure they have the best for the children that attend the selected child programs and give parents the ease of knowing they are selecting high-quality child care services.” – Jasmine

“I had no idea where to start when we were first looking, but I found the Quality Rated website, which makes it so simple to see all your options in one place. It does so much of the work for you.” – Loretta

“You can ease your mind about the commute to your child(rens) child care facility when using Quality Rated.” – Eryka

“The tool helps me, as a parent, assess each school’s program, safety reports, hours, prices, credentials, and even seek out transportation options.” – Lindsey

“QualityRated.Org is hands down the most user-friendly website we’ve found in helping choose the right child care options for Leo here in Georgia. I love that you can simply type in your address to get a list of Quality Rated programs within miles of your home.” – Sarah

“This free tool helps you search through several categories such as price, distance, and services offered, to help you select a child care center that meets all of your expectations.” – Natasha

“After looking through QualityRated.org, we chose on a fantastic preschool, took a tour, and fell in love. Not only does it look great on the surface, but I was able to get so many more details online before we ever even visited. ” – Katie

“I found out about the Quality Rated child care tool & it made it super easy to find several options that could be potential fits for our family.” – Katherine

“I fully believe that, through Quality Rated, I can find a place that emphasizes play and education while valuing the awesome little people that my children are. ” – Patricia

“As a new mom a few years ago, this tool is extremely helpful and provides you with necessary information in regards to work schedules and transportation needs.” – Torche’

“Parents in Georgia can find support they need as they select a child care program through the a free search tool makes it easy to find quality, affordable child care.” – Ari

“I am so happy to have found such an amazing resource so that I can get all the information I need when choosing a school for Bennett. Its also nice to know that a search tool like this exists so that when it comes time to pick a school for Sydney I will be well prepared.”

“I’ve used the Quality Rated search function SO many times. In fact, that’s how we landed on Charlie’s current school. I felt at ease and like there was full transparency in choosing the best place for her to be.”

“We’ve stumbled upon the statewide, free search tool from Quality Rated. We wish we had found it years ago! We love that it is such a helpful tool for parents to find the best childcare for their needs.”