Designing a QRIS for Texas

The Texas Early Learning Council will make recommendations to the Governor regarding the development of a Texas Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS).

The Council worked with a contractor, ICF, to research and develop a plan for a statewide QRIS for Texas.  The Data and QRIS Subcommittee developed an initial list of indicators for the contractors to research and provided examples of local QRISs currently operating in Texas and other statewide systems.  The contractor recently completed a strategic plan to inform the Council's development of recommendations.  The strategic plan is available now.  The final recommendations on the development of a Texas QRIS will be released in 2013.

In 2012, the Council released three online stakeholder surveys to solicit input from stakeholders.  The Council would like to thank those who participated in the three surveys.  Your input is helping the Council develop the best possible QRIS recommendations for our state.

Look for updates on this project through our social media pages and newsletters (subscribe to our newsletter and social media on the right of this page.)

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Quality Rating and Improvement Systems

The National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center defines QRIS as a "systematic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early and school-aged care and education programs." Twenty-three states currently implement some type of QRIS. These systems have grown in popularity among all early care and education stakeholders in recent years.

Parents, providers, and policymakers all have important questions related to early care and education in Texas:

  • Parents want to know: Where can I find the highest quality program for the resources I have?
  • Providers want to know: What are key steps I can take to increase the quality of my program?
  • Policymakers want to know: What programs and strategies yield the best results for Texas Children?

The Council is excited to develop in-depth recommendations for creating a statewide QRIS for the Lone Star state. Ideally, a Texas QRIS will answer the important questions listed above, and many more.  We are calling on stakeholders, policymakers, and advocates to collaborate with us during this process, so that the recommendations we produce will contribute to a long lasting, high functioning system that supports families, providers, and policymakers in making key decisions related to quality.

QRIS Development Resources

The Texas Early Learning Council has a lot of work to do on this important effort, but already important steps have been taken. See below for more information on this important project:

  • The Council has contracted with ICF to assist us with creating the recommendations.  Specifically, we are working with Michelle Thomas and Stacie Goffin who both possess tremendous experience in designing large scale systems and brokering compromise and collaboration among stakeholders.
  • The Council and our Consultants have re-drafted our approach to the project; it consists of a number of steps:
    • Step 1: Conduct 1-on-1 interviews with a number of key stakeholders and Council members in the state to better understand the complexities of the early care and education system in Texas and positions held by the various stakeholders involved - Completed:In Summer 2012, our consultant conducted 23 interviews with stakeholders across Texas.
    • Step 2: Survey critical stakeholders to flesh out intricacies uncovered in the interview process - Completed in partnership with Texans Care For Children
    • Step 3: Investigate critical indicators of quality outlined by the Texas Early Learning Council, in order to ensure that the Council's recommendations are driven by research and are focusing on the key aspects of programs that lead to improved outcomes for children - Completed
    • Step 4: Produce Texas Early Learning Council advance draft of Texas QRIS Strategic Plan - Completed
    • Step 5: Texas Early Learning Council meets and reviews plan, requesting changes and seeking clarifications - Completed
    • Step 6: Produce first draft of the Texas QRIS Strategic Plan - Completed
    • Step 7: Poll statewide stakeholders on critical questions related to the first draft -Completed in partnership with Texans Care For Children
    • Step 8 : Conduct live stakeholder meeting to share first draft with stakeholders and receive feedback on the draft - Completed in Partnership with Texans Care For Children
    • Step 9: Produce second draft of Texas QRIS Strategic Plan - Completed
    • Step 10: Poll statewide stakeholders on critical questions related to the second draft -Completed in partnership with Texans Care For Children
    • Step 11: Conduct live stakeholder meeting to share second draft with stakeholders and receive feedback on the draft -Completed
    • Step 12: Produce third draft of the Texas QRIS Strategic Plan - Completed in Partnership with Texans Care For Children
    • Step 13: Conduct meeting of the Texas Early Learning Council to finalize strategic plan and begin work on recommendations - Completed
    • Step 14: Incorporate final Texas Early Learning Council feedback and share strategic plan with the Texas Governor and Texas stakeholders - Completed
    • Step 15: Utilize strategic plan and council collaboration to develop Council recommendations for a Texas QRIS.

Note: as we move through the process we will be posting updates and progress.

QRIS Resources and Questions

The Texas Early Learning Council has a lot of work to do on this important effort, but already important steps have been taken. See below for more information on this important project:

  • Ask the Texas Early Learning Council questions about a QRIS, our recommendations development process, or provide us with your feedback
    • Contact Us with questions and comments.  We will make routine updates to this page, posting Frequently Asked Questions.

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