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Make Information about Preschool Quality Available to Families

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Principle Recommendation

On its website, the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) should show the names and locations of all licensed and accredited preschool programs.

Current Connecticut Statute

The OEC is required to develop and implement an early childhood quality rating and improvement (QRIS) system.[i] The QRIS will be phased-in and eventually, all early childhood programs will be registered in one of four levels of quality (i.e.; basic-licensed, good, better, and best-accredited).

However, families currently seeking information about licensed or accredited early childhood programs cannot find this information through the OEC without being directed elsewhere.

Supporting Research

Connecticut is one of only five states still in the QRIS planning stage; all other states are either in the pilot stage or have implemented QRIS programs.[ii] Michigan, for example, has an easy-to-use QRIS, which relies upon a star system to rate its early childhood programs.[iii]

While the QRIS is being developed in Connecticut, families should at least be able to find out whether early childhood programs are licensed or accredited on the OEC website.

Sources



[i] P.A. 14-39 transferred the QRIS program from the State Department of Education (P.A. 12-116). The original requirement for the QRIS was in P.A. 11-181.
[ii] CT is one of only 5 states still in the QRIS planning stages.  Most states have working QRIS programs, with a few in pilot or regional roll out states. QRIS National Learning Network, Map of States with a QRIS. Retrieved from here.
[iii] Michigan’s QRIS is called “Great Start to Quality” and can be found here.  This program includes an interactive website, along with photos, to help parents find high quality early childhood programs for their children.