Stay in the Loop with GSQ's Continuous Quality Improvement Newsletter


  • New Indicator Spotlight: Business sustainability plan
  • Next steps after submitting the Self-Reflection
  • On-Site Observation tips
  • Like and follow!

What's New?

The latest news to help support your program

New Indicator Spotlight

AM4: Program has a business sustainability plan.

Michigan lost 637 child care programs statewide during the COVID-19 pandemic, dramatically limiting child care options. A successful child care business is one that meets families’ needs and provides a safe place for children to learn and grow among other children and trusted adults. That success also depends on business management practices ensuring the program’s financial stability. 

A business sustainability plan allows programs to plan for their future, including how to keep the doors open if we experience another life-altering event like COVID. Creating a business sustainability plan helps administrators ensure their program is set up for continued success, and that children have continued access to high quality care.  

Consider the following key points when creating your business sustainability plan to ensure your business model is equitable: 

  • Bring key stakeholders and partners to the table. This might include children and schoolagers, families, community members, accountants and area businesses to ensure your program meets the needs of those you are serving, both now and in the future.  
  • Create transparency with customers about the progress your program hopes to achieve.  
  • Ensure goals are prioritized based on the program’s — and stakeholders’— values. 
  • Prioritize the health and safety of staff, children, and families. Ensure your business model encourages these best practices. 
  • Remember: A sound, sustainable business model and plan can lead to increased and sustainable wages for staff, which also leads to improved staff retention.  

Wondering what to include in a business sustainability plan? Some topics to consider include, but are not limited to:  

  • Budget planning 
  • Cost-reduction strategies 
  • Financial reporting 
  • Maintaining program services 
  • Marketing 
  • Staff recruitment and retention 

Don’t forget to continuously monitor your plan to ensure you are on track to meet your goals, or to make adjustments as needed.  

For more information about this indicator, review the Quality Indicators Guidance Document and Quality Indicators FAQ

If you have questions, please reach out to [email protected].

Next steps after submitting the Self-Reflection

Now that I submitted the Self-Reflection, what's next?  

Once you submit the Self-Reflection, just a few easy steps remain to move the program to the Enhancing Quality Level! 

First, you'll need to access the Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) on the Quality Dashboard. You'll find the QIP at the bottom of the Quality Dashboard page.  

In the QIP, add at least one goal to move forward in the process. While completing the Self-Reflection, you may have chosen to add one or more indicators as goals in the QIP. If you did, it should already display your goals. If not, create a new goal by selecting "Add Goal" as shown below.

Whether you've created the goal from an indicator or with ‘Add Goal,’ you must complete the details of the goal next. 

Be sure you assign the goal to a staff member, give it a due date, and save it! 

Once you have completed these steps, you can expect to see the program's Quality Level move from Reflecting on Quality into Enhancing Quality the next business day.  

If you have questions about this process, please reach out to [email protected].  

On-Site Observation Tips

On-Site Observation during outdoor time

On warm, sunny days, everyone wants to be outside! Just remember that outside time, where children enjoy unstructured play time (like recess) and “get out their energy,” cannot be observed and scored using the PreK CLASS tool.  

For outdoor activities — large or small groups, meals, snacks, etc. — to be observed and scored, teachers must be as engaged and interactive with children as they would in the classroom. Purely recreational activity like running, swinging on swings, climbing on play structures and throwing balls is considered recess — and as such may not be scored.  

If an assessor is observing your classroom and you want to hold part of your day outside, inform the assessor of your outdoor structured learning time so they know to continue observing and scoring. 

Note that this only pertains to preschool rooms using PreK CLASS. Infant CLASS, Toddler CLASS (for toddler rooms in centers and in Family Child Cares), all ERS tools, and SEL PQA observe and score outside times. 

Schoolage classrooms and On-Site Observation

Previously, schoolage classrooms in centers were not required to have On-Site Observations and or be added to a program’s MiRegistry Classrooms tab.  

In the revised process, every age group under the same license must receive an On-Site Observation. That means programs that previously hadn't listed their schoolage classrooms must now do so with current information.  

Please ensure that program Classrooms tabs reflect every classroom, including schoolage. Schoolage classrooms include before and after care as well as summer programs. 

Questions? Contact the Assessment team at [email protected].

Like and Follow!

Great Start to Quality's new family pages

Great Start to Quality now has family Facebook and Instagram pages! 

Check out both of our new social media pages for tips on finding care, financial assistance, early learning activities, and more.  

Providers and partners alike are encouraged to share tips and activities with the families in your communities.  

Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram

Key Contacts

Support with public profiles and general information: [email protected] 

Participation with Great Start to Quality: your Resource Center

Connecting employees or connecting with your Validator: [email protected]

Connecting with your Assessor: [email protected]

Questions about Approved Assessors: [email protected] 

If you are thinking about how to maintain or continue making quality improvements, or if you're ready to learn more and need help, contact your local Great Start to Quality Resource Center by calling 877-614-7328 or visit

Funding from the Office of Great Start within the Michigan Department of Education supports the implementation of Great Start.


The Early Childhood Investment Corporation is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of Great Start to Quality