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Toward Integration: State Approaches to Head Start Partnering in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems

July 1, 2018

Quality Rating and Improvement Systems are rapidly evolving from a child care- focused approach to one that is seeking to embrace a multiplicity of early learning programs including Head Start. The Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) included a specific focus on using QRISs for all early learning programs and, more recently, in the issuance of revised performance standards for Head Start, the Office of Head Start made its strongest statement of support yet for integrating Head Start and QRISs. Integrating Head Start and QRISs is key to addressing the growing need for quality Early Care and Education (ECE) settings. This report looks at five states with different integration approaches - Arkansas, Montana, Oregon, Illinois and North Carolina – and explores the lessons learned from these diverse models.

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