The child care & early education glossary defines terms used to describe aspects of child care and early education practice and policy; the research glossary defines terms used in conducting social science and policy research, for example those describing methods, measurements, statistical procedures, and other aspects of research.
The characteristics of learning environments that promote the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of young children. High quality programs typically exceed state regulatory requirements, utilizing Developmentally Appropriate curricula and prioritizing adequate teacher and administrative qualifications, ongoing Professional Development, and Family Engagement strategies, among others qualities.
Refers to projects designed to increase the quality and availability of early care and education programs and services. CCDF provides funding for some quality initiatives, including Child Care Resource and Referral services for parents; training, PD and wage enhancements for staff; and facility improvement and Accreditation for child care programs. See related: QRIS.
Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)
A system typically administered by a state or local jurisdiction used to assess, improve and communicate the quality of early care and learning settings. Most incorporate some variation of the following elements: quality standards; a system for rating/measuring and monitoring program quality; resources to improve quality such as grants for classroom materials and staff scholarships; and outreach services to educate and communicate with key stakeholders about choosing high Quality early education. QRIS may also create a range of financial incentives to motivate programs to achieve higher levels of quality. See related: Tiered Reimbursement System; Quality Initiatives.
Quality Set-Aside Funding
A specified portion of a larger pool of funding reserved for quality improvement-related activities. Programs that receive CCDF subsidies are required to set-aside a percentage of their budget to achieve a range of priorities, including increasing the supply and quality of infant/toddler care.