Quality Improvement System (QIS) Development

Since its inception in 2013, the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) has worked to build an early childhood system for our state based on continuous improvement across settings.

Continuing this work, we are creating a Quality Improvement System (QIS) that integrates state licensing standards and national accreditation standards to support all early care and education programs, regardless of setting.

Our system 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 significant dollars in building this infrastructure.

The Connecticut approach is different. Our system supports providers to grow from where they are, through professional learning and tools to strengthen connections with children, families, staff, and the community at large. We do not rate programs or classrooms, as many states do. We built our system by linking existing resources through clear processes and one-to-one connections.

Our system 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, and earlier pilots of quality improvement systems. Our system leverages existing infrastructure systems 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. 

We are also partnering with experts at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the University of Connecticut to ensure a streamlined infrastructure based on existing, proven approaches to strengthen programs through continuous improvement.

Learn about our partnership with NAEYC

OEC is partnering with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to develop structures for licensed programs to move toward accreditation. Find out more about the partnership.

Our system is shaped by provider feedback

Connecticut providers are an essential voice to create a system that really works for Connecticut. In winter 2022, OEC shared initial system ideas with providers through NAEYC-led focus groups, a statewide webinar, a survey, internal and external interactive workgroup conversations, and direct feedback from providers. We’re grateful for provider engagement in this process. Here’s the Spring 2022 update on our response to that feedback. 

This summer, we will launch a revised system focused on supports for all providers. This revised system will:

  • Advance quality improvement practices for all programs, regardless of setting or accreditation status
  • Support sustainability for child care businesses
  • Offer providers choice in how they engage with quality improvement resources
  • Position accreditation as beneficial to providers and families, and allow providers choice to participate in the accreditation process
  • Build on existing OEC infrastructure systems
  • Be easy to understand and simple to use

Get help from our Service Navigators

Service Navigators are available to help you!

For family child care:  Learn about available supports and find your local contacts by visiting the Staffed Family Child Care Networks (SFCCN) webpage

For center and school-based programs: Find your regional Service Navigator on this flyer (Spanish).

Service Navigation offers a personal connection to experts who can offer guidance and answer questions. Service Navigators can help with:

  • General program support
  • Growing your efforts to provide quality care for children and their families
  • Linking to resources and guidance for continuous quality including
    • Training on the CT Early Learning and Development Standards (CT ELDS) and the CT Documentation and Observation for Teaching System (CT DOTS)
    • Business supports
    • Support with OEC tools including the CT Early Childhood Professional Registry and ECE Reporter.

Our system is still a work in progress

We’ve received questions from child care providers about our system — and we’re updating our answers regularly.

Learn more about QIS

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
See our QIS flyer about how feedback from providers helped us improve our system

Last updated June 23, 2022