Ratings and QSSB

Licensed programs enrolled in QSSB are assessed and rated according to what research shows to be key components of quality early care, including adult-child interactions, learning environments and appropriate learning activities. Out of this, programs are given a quality rating ranging from one to five leaves. A one leaf rating represents those that are committed to quality improvement while five leaves means that the program far exceeds quality standards.


Quality standards are high, and reaching the quality levels is often a long-term process for child care and preschool programs. All programs enrolled in QSSB are committed to preparing kids for school and life and do so by adhering to an improvement plan created just for them. With the support of a QSSB coach, improvement plans outline goals and procedures to move a site towards even greater quality.


In addition, some programs will not receive a rating at all during their enrollment with QSSB. Reaching beyond the scope of more traditional environments like child care centers, licensed family child care, and state preschools, QSSB has extended its work to partner with alternative settings. Alternative settings are license-exempt providers and community-based programs like family resource centers, home-visiting programs, libraries, Boys and Girls Clubs and more. These settings are supported according to the same quality standards around three core areas: child development and school readiness, teacher qualifications, and overall program and environment. They also work according to a specific plan and with the support of a QSSB coach.

Update on Rating Reports

Rating reports are currently unavailable as ratings have been on pause since 2020 due to Covid-19 safety precautions. In the meantime, all participating programs have and will continue to grow their quality and actively participate in professional development opportunities. QSSB participants are listed below according to their site type: family child care and center-based, alternative settings, and state preschool.


  • Tree_Icon_5


    Far exceeds quality standards

  • Tree_Icon_3


    Meets quality standards

  • Tree_Icon_1


    Committed to quality improvement

  • Tree_Icon_4


    Exceeds quality standards

  • Tree_Icon_2


    Approaching quality standards

  • Tree_Icon_0


    Program is enrolled in Quality Start but does not yet have a public rating

Types of child care and preschool programs

Center-based: A center setting often involves the care of larger groups of children in a commercial building. They are either owned and operated privately or associated with a larger corporation. They can be a part of a community center, religious organization, or non-profit.

Family Child Care: This is care offered from the home of a licensed provider. Many serve families with traditional and non-traditional schedules. Children may be of the same group, preschool age for example, or in mixed-age groups.

License-Exempt and Alternative Settings: License-exempt child care includes family, friend, and neighbor providers who are not legally required to hold a license. Alternative programs include community-based and school readiness programs.

State-Preschool: State preschools are free or low-cost  programs for families who meet state income and family size criteria. These programs receive state funding and typically serve children 3 to 4 in preschool or pre-kindergarten classrooms.

Finding Child Care

When finding the right child care or preschool program for your family's needs, it's important to keep in mind that ratings are just one of several factors to consider. Click here for more information and download a Keys to Quality checklist to help inform your decision-making process. 

Scroll to Top