WE PARTICIPATE IN QUALITY RATED BECAUSE WE BELIEVE PARENTS AND
FAMILIES SHOULD FEEL CONFIDENT ABOUT THE PROGRAM THEY CHOOSE
FOR THEIR CHILD.
We understand that families want to make the best choices for their child’s growth and
development so that they have a bright start in life. That is why we became Quality
Rated. As a Quality Rated program, we have taken concrete steps to provide the children we
serve with a nurturing educational environment to help them learn and develop their
social skills so they have a strong foundation as they grow. We want our parents and families—both those we already serve and those who are
searching for child care—to have peace of mind, through our Quality Rated status, so they know we have been identified and confirmed as a high-quality program.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOUR FAMILY
Quality Rated gives families greater confidence in their child care choice because
they know that independent early education experts assess whether programs apply
research-based best practices such as:
- Employing qualified and well-trained teachers
- Providing a safe, healthy, and caring environment
- Implementing individualized instruction
- Offering a curriculum that prepares kids for a successful future
- Including focuses on both active learning and social-emotional
- Engaging families
- Providing a low teacher-student ratio
- Because we are Quality Rated, we have gone above and beyond state health
and safety requirements to provide a high-quality experience to children.
QUALITY RATED Q&A
- WHAT IS QUALITY RATED? A quality child care, preschool or pre-K program provides children with a nurturing and
educational environment to help them learn and develop their social skills so they
have a strong foundation as they grow. Parents and families need an independent,
trustworthy resource to help them find high-quality programs. Georgia's Quality Rated
is a tool that helps families find child care programs in their area that have been
evaluated by credentialed early childhood experts and identified as high-quality.
- WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BRIGHT FROM THE START AND
QUALITY RATED? Since Quality Rated was launched in 2012, Bright from the Start: Georgia Department
of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) has been the state agency responsible for
administering this voluntary tiered quality rating and improvement system for the
state's child care programs.
More generally, Bright from the Start is also responsible for meeting the child care and
early education needs of Georgia’s children and their families. It administers
the nationally recognized Georgia Pre-K Program; licenses child care centers and
home-based child care; administers the Child Care and Development Funds, which
include the Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program; administers federal
nutrition programs; and manages voluntary quality enhancement programs. In
addition, the department houses the Head Start State Collaboration Office, distributes
federal funding to enhance the quality and availability of child care, and works
collaboratively with Georgia child care resource and referral agencies and
organizations throughout the state to enhance early care and education.
Georgia is among many states across the nation driving systemic improvement of
early education programs for families in their respective states.
- WHAT TYPE OF INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE QUALITY RATED
TOOL? When searching for a program for their child, parents and families can explore the
Quality Rated tool for different programs located in their area. Through the Quality
Rated tool, they will have access to specific information on each program, such as
safety reports, teacher-student ratios, transportation, and teacher credentials, among
many other details.
Quality Rated’s one, two, and three star ratings allow families to easily identify high quality
child care and early education programs that are using research-based best
practices to prepare children for kindergarten, as assessed by independent early
- HOW DO THE STAR RATINGS WORK? Through the Quality Rated tool, parents and families can find programs that child care
experts have assessed and rated based on factors that contribute to the best
environment and experience for children’s development.
To understand the star rating system, consider the Olympics for a moment and how
athletes and teams earn score and medals. For instance, in a gymnastics beam
competition, all participating gymnasts work to perform similar skills and are given
varied points for their execution, depending on the level of quality demonstrated. In the end, the medalists all have showcased high quality, but just at different degrees.
That’s the frame of mind to have when thinking about Quality Rated. Child care
programs that want to become Quality Rated have the opportunity to score up to 45
points and earn a star rating. Child care experts assess programs’ portfolio based on
a core set of standards and also visit programs to observe the practices teachers
demonstrate and how they interact with children. Programs accumulate points to earn
a star rating.
- CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE RATING METHODOLOGY? HOW ARE THESE RATINGS
DECIDED AND HOW OFTEN ARE THESE PROGRAMS EVALUATED? Licensed early child care providers are encouraged to apply in order to demonstrate
their commitment to continuously make quality improvements to their program. The
ratings are based on a combined score of a child care program’s portfolio and an
onsite evaluation by an independent early education expert.
The portfolio demonstrates how the program supports quality. It includes their
teachers’ credentials, approach to supporting family engagements, teacher to student
ratio, teaching practices and curriculum, and promotion of child health and physical
activity. Then, early education experts visit the programs to conduct an unannounced
observation using a nationally recognized assessment tool based on best practices
for young children. Early childhood education experts observe the child care
program’s environment, as well as interactions between the teacher and children in
- WHY WOULD A CHILD CARE PROGRAM WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN QUALITY
RATED? Any child care program participating in Georgia’s Quality Rated has agreed to meet
standards that exceed the state’s licensing requirements and is committed to
improving the quality of care it provides to children. By participating in Georgia’s
voluntary Quality Rated, early education and school‐age care programs embark on a
path of continuous quality improvement.
The Quality Rated tool specifically identifies high-quality programs throughout the
state of Georgia, helping Georgia families find the child care that best addresses their
child’s specific needs.
- WHAT, IF ANY, PUSH BACK DO PROGRAMS HAVE TOWARD BECOMING
QUALITY RATED? “How well do I do my job” is a tough question for anyone to ask. Child care providers
who have volunteered to participate in Quality Rated are willing to work very hard to
go above and beyond what is required of them because they know that children will
benefit from their best efforts.
- WHY DOES THE STATE FEEL THE NEED TO BECOME INVOLVED IN PARENTS’
DECISIONS FOR THEIR YOUNG CHILDREN? Often, parents and families are unsure what to look for in their search for quality child
care program. All parents want what’s best for their children, and the information
provided through the Quality Rated tools helps parents and families make the most
informed choice for their child and provide them a bright start to their future.