Childcare Quality Rating and Improvement System

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Video: Lloyd Jackson Accepts KIDS COUNT's "Making West Virginia A Great Place to be a Kid" Award and Advocates for New State Investments to Improve Childcare Quality

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On April 27, 2012, at the Clay Center in Charleston, West Virginia KIDS COUNT presented State Board of Education member and former State Senator Lloyd Jackson with its first "Making West Virginia a Great Place exness to be a Kid" Award. In his inspiring acceptance speech, Mr. Jackson makes a strong case for new state investments in a childcare quality rating and improvement system.  Click on the link above to see the speech in its entirety. 

KIDS COUNT Is Committed High-Quality Childcare for Every West Virginia Child

In 2009, West Virginia KIDS COUNT led the Kids First Campaign, a coalition programas de afiliados financeiros of parents, childcare providers, community leaders and legislative champions who successfully advocated for historic legislation creating the framework for West Virginia’s first childcare quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). While the 2009 legislation was an important milestone in exness thailand the fight for better childcare, it did not include the funding necessary to implement the QRIS. Therefore, KIDS COUNT is continuing to lead the effort to get this program off the ground and is planning a major push for funding during the 2013 legislative session.

Kids First LogoThere is an important reason why KIDS COUNT has been focused squarely on improving the quality of childcare programs. Did you know that 64,000 West Virginia children under age six spend a large part of their day in the care of someone other than their parents because their parents are working? And, there is only one childcare slot for every 3 children who need care in West Virginia. For the children who are in childcare, the quality of that care is, at best, mediocre.  Less than 7% of West Virginia’s 361 licensed childcare centers are nationally-accredited, and 53% of our childcare providers have no more than a high school education and exness th no specialized training in caring for children. High-quality childcare requires well-trained teachers with low teacher-to-child ratios.  West Virginia has neither.

A QRIS works much like the rating systems for hotels, movies and car safety:  the more stars the higher the quality.  A childcare QRIS also gives childcare programs the financial and technical supports they need to gradually improve their quality. 

When West Virginia commits to a full-funded quality system, not only will West Virginia be a better place for kids, it will also be a better place to build a business.  We will all reap the rewards of a high quality childcare system, and the time to invest in a better future for our kids is now.

The History of West Virginia's Efforts to Implement a Childcare Quality Rating and Improvement System... 

In 2005, Marshall University’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) found that West Virginia would get a $5.20 return for every dollar it invests in high-quality childcare programs. On the heels of that cost-benefit study, West Virginia KIDS COUNT led an 18-month project that brought early child development (ECD) experts, child advocates, policymakers and community leaders together to establish consensus on West Virginia’s ECD policy needs.  Their top policy priority was the creation of a childcare quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). 

In 2008 and 2009, KIDS COUNT led a statewide, grassroots campaign, called West Virginia Kids First, which created the legislative framework West Virginia’s first childcare quality rating and improvement system.  Although the bill had no funding, it did call for the creation rules and a study to assess the cost of implementing the QRIS statewide.   By the end of 2011, the Department of Health and Human Resources had submitted the rules necessary to govern the program, and the Marshall University Center for Business and Economic Research had completed the cost study.  Everything but the funding is now place to implement the system. 

In the fall of 2011, a team of West Virginia’s ECD experts and child advocates developed a $50 million proposal to the United States Department of Education for an early childhood “Race to the Top” grant.  Included in that $50 million request was partial funding for the implementation of West Virginia’s QRIS.  Unfortunately, West Virginia was not one of the first nine states selected to receive the funding, KIDS COUNT, other child advocates, policymakers, business and community leaders and parents are determined to continue the momentum that has been building since 2006.  During upcoming legislative sessions, this broad-based coalition is planning to advocate for all of the funding necessary to get the QRIS up and running.