The Massachusetts QRIS Standards were developed for all programs and educators serving children and youth across the Commonwealth's mixed delivery system. The Massachusetts' Licensing Regulations serve as a solid foundation, for a set of well-developed QRIS Standards, that are based on child development, early education and after school program quality research. To address the unique characteristics of quality found in different types of programs, the QRIS Standards have been customized for Center Based / School Based programs, Family Child Care, and After School Programs / Out of School Time programs.
The Massachusetts QRIS Standards outline key indicators of quality and are presented in five primary categories. Three of the categories encompass sub-categories.
- Curriculum and Learning
- Safe, Healthy Indoor and Outdoor Environments
- Workforce Development and Professional Qualifications
- Family and Community Engagement
- Leadership, Administration and Management
The QRIS Standards are presently expressed in terms of Levels, which correspond to a QRIS rating. The levels are organized in a series of blocks that outline the indicators for quality within each category. Thus, programs must demonstrate that they can meet all of the criteria in all of the categories in Level 1 to obtain a Level 1 rating, before they can qualify for Level 2 rating, and so on up the levels. Currently there are four QRIS levels, EEC plans to develop a fifth level that links high quality education and care with positive developmental and educational outcomes for children and youth.