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What do quality rating levels mean?: Examining the implementation of QRIS ratings to inform validation
Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) provide a summary quality rating for early care and education settings. This paper presents findings from an in-depth study that examined the specification of quality standards and implementation of the rating process in five QRIS. We found that standards vary in specificity and rigor across QRIS but that there was greater similarity at the highest rating levels in comparison to the lowest. Intermediate levels are structured in the context of licensing standards and as accessible steps to help programs progress. We also found that competency drivers to support a well-implemented rating process need improvement. We discuss the implications of standards specification and rating structure on future validation of QRIS. (author abstract)
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