A Quality Rating & Improvement System (QRIS) is a method to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early care & education and after-school settings ( Stair Steps to Quality , Anne W. Mitchell (2005); United Way Success by Six, p. 4). The MA QRIS offers guidance to professionals in early education and care and out of school time settings on a path towards quality, recognizing that higher expectations of programs must be matched with increased supports that include a better-articulated career ladder, financial incentives, and professional development and technical assistance, which are grounded in the science of child development.

QRIS are similar to other consumer rating systems, in that they "rate" goods or services to provide customers with a better understanding about the quality of that item. The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) formally began developing a QRIS during the spring of 2008. Twenty other states have implemented QRIS over the past decade and many more states are in the development process. 

Please note: After a program/provider submits a QRIS application, EEC will review the QRIS Program Manager, supporting documentation, and the PQ Registry. Programs and providers submitting a Level 3 application will also require a Program Quality Specialist Technical Assistance site visit. Programs and providers submitting a Level 4 application will require an Environment Rating Scales Reliable Rater observation(s). The average length of time to process a QRIS application and grant a level is 12 months.

Program Quality Unit Contact Information

Program Quality Supervisor
Amy Whitehead-Pleaux

(508) 461-1446

Region 1 – Western Region
Philip Steigman

Policy Analyst
(617) 988-7822

Region 2 - Central
Eric Litt

Program Quality Specialist
(508) 461-1460

Region 3 - Northeast Region
Jody Dominguez

Bilingual Program Quality Specialist
(978) 826-1336

Region 5 - Southeast and Cape Region
Joy Cohen

Program Quality Specialist
(508) 967-3413

Region 6 - Metro Boston Region
Joy Cohen
Program Quality Specialist
(508) 967-3413

QRIS for Providers and Educators

QRIS standards: Describes key indicators of quality for Center-based/School-based programs, Family Child Care and After School/Out of School Time programs.

The QRIS Program Manager application: A secure, Web-based program that lets programs complete their self-assessments and apply for ratings online.

QRIS resources: Includes an overview of QRIS and measurement tools for your program.

More Information about the Massachusetts QRIS

About QRIS and the Massachusetts implementation: QRIS Description and Implementation in Massachusetts

Development of the Massachusetts QRIS system: Background and history of our QRIS.

Key indicators of quality: These indicators are built into the QRIS system.