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.