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Getting a clear picture of your program.

Quality First assessment is a valuable support for your program in the improvement process. The purpose of receiving ongoing assessments is to offer objective and reliable measures of the everyday experiences of the children in your program. You will gain a clear picture of your program—what is great about it and the opportunities to do even better.

“I find it tremendously important and valuable to have an outside agency that is providing their honest assessment of how we’re doing. And you know of course there’s times where I agree with the outcome or I disagree with the outcome, but having an honest outside perspective is just important to our team. And it’s motivating to our team as well.”

– Ryan Perez, Child Care Center Owner


The Assessment Process

  1. On-site observations using assessment tools
    • Environment Rating Scales (ECERS, ITERS, FCCERS)
    • Classroom Scoring Assessment System (CLASS)
  2. Written feedback to guide quality improvements
  3. Star rating to showcase your commitment to quality

The Role of the Quality First Assessor

Quality First assessors are experienced professionals in the field of early childhood and receive extensive training on the assessment tools to ensure they are measuring program practices accurately.

The assessment reports you receive provide important information for you to build upon your strengths and identify where you can do even better.

Is Assessment Required?

Quality First assessments are a required part of participation. Assessment is designed based on high-quality standards using valid and reliable tools and conducted by highly trained objective observers.

All Quality First participants will receive an initial rating. This initial rating is not public unless the participant achieves a quality level (3-, 4- or 5-star) rating.

Following up on your assessment

Following the initial assessment, all participants will be reassessed every two years to establish a public star rating. Regardless of star rating, these ratings will be publicly posted and shared with DES to determine eligibility for tiered reimbursement rates.

Time to Review

After the observation, the assessor will leave and begin scoring and report writing using the notes collected at your program. Once the report is complete, you will receive an email notification that the assessment is ready for review. With the support of your coach or coordinator, you will review the results and move forward with quality improvement planning.

Apply Now

Participation in Quality First is free. Apply now to get the support you need to make your program the best it can be.

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