Having returned from The BUILD Initiative’s conference on Quality Raging and Improvement Systems (QRIS), ACS Senior Director Rebecca Cohen has six high-level takeaways to share:
1. Data and research about the state of early childhood education is getting better, but it’s still not complete. Look for new and deeper information from studies coming out this fall from the National Survey of Early Care and Education and from Pennsylvania and Virginia.
2. Variations among states are good … and bad. While variations in the use of QRIS allow states and communities to learn from one another, it also makes a national conversation about quality more difficult.
3. QRIS boosts collaboration among multiple systems. QRIS is well suited as a tool for local collective impact initiatives.
4. Workforce development is and will continue to be major emphasis of QRIS. A new federal study will be released this fall that will provide clarity on the effects of teacher degree attainment on early childhood education quality.
5. Communication is necessary to translate data and research into messages about how the QRIS systems work. Organizations responsible for creating buy-in for QRIS must have a clear communication strategy to reach new and different stakeholders and champions.
6. QRIS systems should reflect what local communities need and policy makers are talking about. Taking local politics and needs into consideration when customizing the QRIS allows a community to leverage momentum from all stakeholders.