Quality Rated—Georgia’s Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (TQRIS)—is Georgia’s systematic approach to assessing, improving, and communicating the level of quality in early childhood and school‐age care and education programs. The Quality Rated Validation Project, led by Child Trends, is part of these evaluation activities.
The primary goal of the Quality Rated Validation Project is to provide Georgia’s early childhood leaders with high-quality information about the validity of Quality Rated that can be used to strengthen the system. The primary objectives of the project are to help Quality Rated leaders gain a better understanding of:
- The extent to which Quality Rated ratings are accurate, meaningful indicators of program quality
- The extent to which Quality Rated ratings—and the standards that comprise the ratings—are related to children’s development and learning
- The strengths and limitations of the Quality Rated administrative data system, as well as an understanding of how the rating system is functioning (e.g., associations among various components of the rating, amount of time for programs to be rated)
The project started in 2015 and will continue through 2018; four reports are planned. The first uses administrative data to provide information about how the rating system is working. The second examines the distribution of ratings among different types of programs, the timing of each step in the rating process, and the re-rating of programs. Future reports, will include information about directors’, providers’, and teachers’ perceptions of Quality Rated, as well as how ratings relate to independent measures of quality and children’s development. Child Trends and Georgia State University are collaborating to collect and analyze information from teachers, providers, and directors about their experiences with Quality Rated; independent classroom and program observations; audio recordings of teacher and provider interactions with children to understand language use; and assessments of children’s emerging academic and social skills. Combined, this series of reports will address the three primary objectives stated above and provide data to guide Quality Rated leaders in considering future implementation and revision.