Iowa has had a Quality Rating System (QRS) for child care providers since 2006. While adjustments to the QRS have been made since that time, a more thorough analysis of the structure and effectiveness of the rating system have been needed. The Iowa Department of Human Services contracted with Child Trends, a nationally-recognized authority on quality rating and improvement systems, to conduct an evaluation of Iowa's system. The charge to Child Trends was to address, to the extent possible, the components outlined in the legislation: an assessment of the validity of the key concepts of the QRS; an assessment of the techniques and measures used to assess quality; an analysis of the outputs quantified by the ratings process; an analysis of the relationship between program ratings and child outcomes. Given the timeframe and resources, the fourth component is not included in this report. (author abstract)
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Iowa Quality Rating System evaluation: Key concepts, psychometric properties, and the rating process