Paths to QUALITY is Indiana’s new statewide child care quality rating system (QRS), first implemented in 2008. The main components of most state QRS programs are: 1) a set of quality standards that apply to home-based and center-based child care; 2) a process for objectively assessing child care quality and maintaining accountability; 3) a system of training and technical assistance to help child care providers improve quality; 4) incentives to encourage providers to reach higher levels of quality; and 5) public information to inform parents about what the QRS is and how to use it when they make child care decisions. In 2007 Indiana’s Bureau of Child Care, a division of the Family and Social Services Administration, contracted Purdue University to complete a scientific review of the quality standards contained in Paths to QUALITY, the proposed quality rating system. The goal of the review was to conduct an external evaluation of the scientific validity of the Paths to QUALITY standards. The review focused on the following three questions: 1. What are the known results and effects of the two existing Indiana QRS pilot programs to date? (Fort Wayne and Evansville areas) 2. Will the proposed Indiana QRS levels and criteria result in increasing the quality of child care children receive? (What does existing research tell us?) 3. Will the Indiana QRS system improve developmental outcomes for children? (What does existing research tell us?)


Technical report, 2007. Analysis of the quality standards of the new Indiana Paths to QUALITY child care quality rating and improvement system.


child care, quality, early childhood education, regulation

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