State-funded ELS programs are required to participate in QRIS and receive ratings based on California’s Quality Counts statewide quality standards. Ratings help provide a sense of a program’s strengths as well as areas for improvement. Ratings are conducted by independent trained observers from DEC, using methods specified by Quality Counts California.

Through the rating process, programs are demonstrating their commitment to improving their quality of care and early education services and are supported along their journey. Site ratings are based on an evaluation and scoring of statewide elements of quality care and education and are between 1 and 5 stars. 

Rating Elements

Ratings are based on the following elements:

Ratings are based on how programs assess children’s learning and how they use the assessment information to develop appropriate learning activities.

Ratings are based on the number of children receiving annual developmental and health screenings, as well as follow up referrals, and how programs partner with families on their child’s development.

Ratings are based on the level of education and training that lead teachers have in both child development and early learning.

Ratings are based on a program’s score on the CLASS assessment performed by an external observer.

Learn more about the CLASS assessment.

Ratings are based on the number of adults per child in classrooms.

Ratings are based on the director’s level of education and training in early education, child development, and administration. 

As noted above, CLASS and ERS Assessments are critical elements of the ratings process. Click on the link below for more information and resources on these assessments:

Getting a Rating

A site’s rating is valid for two years, though a re-rating will occur whenever there are changes to a site license. After receiving a full rating, programs develop quality improvement plans and commit to the ongoing improvement process.

Please contact Jennifer Martinez, to plan your QRIS Rating and Assessment for the 23-24 program year.