Getting Ready for Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System

February 13, 2014

Take steps now to prepare your program for the Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) roll-out in March. Here are five things your program can do now to prepare for success:

1. Move up on the Oregon Registry. The QRIS Personnel Qualifications standards are based on the Oregon Registry; creating Professional Development Plans; articulating degrees, CDA credentials and other certificates; and submitting documentation for your highest step will give you a head start in meeting these standards.

Pro Tip: Check out the QRIS website to get access to the newly designed Professional Development Plans. Check out the calendar and register for classes through Child Care Partner's website.

2. Write down your policies and procedures and make sure they are up to date. You know what you do and why you do it, but does your staff? Do parents? Make sure your program philosophy is written down and posted for both parents and staff to view. Develop or update written policies on things like behavior management, meal times, personnel policies, inclusion, parent engagement, etc.

Pro Tip: Attend a workshop on policy development; check the Oregon Registry Online (ORO) training calendar and Child Care Partners' calendar for dates.

3. Focus on involving parents. Including families in your program is an important part of quality. Take an objective look at your program and assess how much parent involvement you have. How do you engage parents? Do you ask parents to evaluate your program? Do you change things based on their feedback? Does your program reflect the cultural diversity of your families? Do you have formal and informal methods for two-way communication with your families? Evaluate what you do well and start taking active steps toward best practice family engagement.

Pro Tip: Download the family survey from the QRIS website and begin using it today.

4. Learn about research-based screening and assessment tools. Oregon's QRIS mirrors the Oregon Early Learning Council's emphasis on screening and assessing children. If you are not already using research-based tools such as the ASQ or Teaching Strategies Gold to screen and assess your children, attend a training to learn more about them and choose the best option for your program. Assessing and screening children in your program takes time and effort; start now.

Pro Tip: Check the ORO Training Calendar or Child Care Partners calendar for Screening and Assessment tool workshop dates and study the standards available on the QRIS website.

5. Make sure your program uses a curriculum that supports all children's learning and development. There are a number of well-respected curricula used by early childhood programs that satisfy the criteria of Oregon's QRIS. Remember, choosing and implementing a curriculum that is right for you takes time, so it's best to get started now.

Pro Tip: Check out the QRIS standards and find a class on the ORO Training Calendar or Child Care Partners calendar about implementing curriculum.

Increasing Quality Trainings are scheduled beginning in March. This session is the first step in participation in Oregon's Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). Oregon's QRIS recognizes rewards and builds on what you are already doing well and provides free tools, financial incentives and professional support to increase and document your quality. In this session participants will explore QRIS participation through a step by step breakdown of the QRIS process and criteria and get an in depth look at the benefits of participating in Oregon's QRIS. Go to Child Care Partners calendar to find specific dates, times and places. Register early, as these classes will fill quickly.