The Office of Early Childhood has been focused on building a quality improvement system since it began. It was initially proposed in the law that established our Office (Public Act 14-39). Over the years, our technical assistance and professional development opportunities have been designed to support this aim.
From the start, we wanted a system that integrated our existing licensing standards with national accreditation standards. While accreditation is not a requirement for Elevate, we see it as the definition of high quality.
Elevate is different
Over the past decade, nearly every state has created a quality improvement system based on points, checklists, and ratings by outside observers. States have invested huge amounts of money in building this infrastructure.
We’ve taken a different approach. Elevate helps providers grow from where they are through professional learning and tools to strengthen connections with children, families, staff, and their community. We don’t rate programs or classrooms. We built our system by linking existing resources through clear processes and one-to-one connections.
Elevate builds on experience
Over the past several years, we have learned about quality care in Connecticut through the study of state licensing compliance data, state accreditation data, earlier pilots of quality improvement systems, and feedback from providers.
- We’re building on existing infrastructure including the Accreditation Quality Improvement Supports (AQIS) and Staffed Family Child Care Networks (SFCCNs) that already support providers to meet the needs of children and families.
- Connecticut providers played an essential role in creating this system. We shared concepts with providers through NAEYC-led focus groups, a statewide webinar, a survey, and workgroups. Throughout the process, feedback from providers has helped us adjust our approach and improve Elevate. Learn about how provider feedback has shaped our system.
- We’re also in conversation with the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) about supporting our systems-level work.
- We’ve partnered with experts at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the University of Connecticut School of Social Work to ensure a streamlined infrastructure based on existing, proven approaches to strengthen programs through continuous improvement. Learn more about our partnership with NAEYC.
Elevate is still a work in progress
We’re always looking for ways to improve our system. We already collect and document feedback from providers during calls with Service Navigators. And we plan to use other methods — such as provider surveys — to learn more about your needs so we can continue to refine Elevate.