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Child Care Aware Of America Quality Indicators Project

Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 11:11:48 AM
Quality-Indicators

The Office of Child Care (OCC) has asked that states begin to collect data about providers that would help parents understand what creates quality in a child care program. As a result, in Partnership with the OCC, Child Care Aware of America recently developed the Quality Indicators (QI) Module; a means for agencies to offer parents ways of determining levels of quality in the child care programs they encounter while searching for child care.

The QI Module is designed to give parents an idea of how one program compares to others based on a set indicators that denote quality.  Each profile includes 10-12 Indicators. The Quality Indicators are not supposed to be directly related to a state’s QRIS system since these systems tend to look at a care facility from a very provider centric perspective. Instead, the intent is to provide a generic set of indicators for all parents and families to use and to help parents in the decision making process for child care. 

The QI Module integrates with the existing suite of applications in NDS. There are currently three QI Profiles: Family Child Care, Child Care Center, and School Age Programs. A QI Profile is created in NACCRRAware as part of a provider’s record. The QI Profile can be used in conjunction with the Online Referral Module (ORM) so that parents can view the profile when looking for child care via the internet. Finally, providers can review and comment on their QI Profile via the Child Care Online (CCO)/Online Provider Services (OPS) Provider Portal.

Future of Quality Indicators Module The current release of the QI Module in NDS was available for agency usage on August 13, 2012 and includes the following features:

  • Capability of capturing quality indicators for different quality profiles. Quality profiles can be set for Family Child Care, Child Care Center, and After School Programs.
  • Agency users manually enter and update quality indicators via NACCRRAware.
  • Provider Search by Quality Indicators via NACCRRAware agency Quick Search.
  • Providers can provide feedback on their quality indicators via the CCO/OPS Provider Portal.
  • Standard Set of Reports and Custom Searches can be run against the Quality Indicators.

The next releases of the QI Module will include the following features and enhancements:

  • Provider Search by Quality Indicators in ORM.
  • Capture different search criteria parent is using to search Providers
  • Agencies can create quality profiles and set their quality indicators. Customization can be at the regional, state, and/or national level.
  • Agencies can designate required and optional indicators.
  • Agencies will be able derive quality indicators from existing NDS data
  • Agencies will be able set an expiration date on certain quality indicator fields

We are assembling a Focus Group from the field to review the current QI Profiles and determine any changes that may need to be made to the current Quality Indicators. We will be posting the QI Profiles for six weeks to allow the entire field to comment on the current Indicators and make suggestions for changes to the current profiles. Once the field has provided their input the Focus Group will take that information and determine the appropriate changes.  

Sample Screen Shots of the Quality Indicators Module

QI Profile as seen in a Provider's NACCRRAware record:

QI Profile as seen in a Provider’s NACCRRAware record

QI Profile as seen by a provider via the Online Provider Services/Child Care Online Provider Portal:

QI Profile as seen by provider in OPS

QI Profile as seen by a parent searching for child care via the Online Referral Module:

QI Profile as seen by parents in ORM