This report presents the results of a survey of child care center directors on their experiences with quality rating systems (QRS). The directors came from three States with different approaches to QRS: Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. While QRS in these States are considered voluntary, many providers commented that because funding is tied to participation in QRS, it is not really voluntary. Directors did recognize the benefits of getting a star rating and were active promoters of QRS. All directors felt that QRS was helpful and worth the effort they put into it.
This report discusses standards that are designed to describe effective practices in out-of-school time care and to institute guidelines for policy and programs. Citywide After-School Initiatives have moved in different directions along the issue of standards. Having a set of standards available can guide the allocation of funds, promote consistency, create goals for staffing and program development, and stimulate strategic planning.