Dear Massachusetts Early Education and Care Community,
The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) is in the process of revising the Massachusetts Quality Rating and Improvement (MA QRIS) standards. On June 13, 2017, the Board of Early Education and Care voted to send a revised draft of the standards forward for a 100 day period of public comment. From now through November, EEC needs your input to help revise the MA QRIS standards. Please keep in mind that many of the details about the revised MA QRIS, including how EEC will verify applications, will be developed after the standards, criteria, and indicators are finalized. These 100 days are really for making the standards that best serve our children and families.
I encourage you to visit our QRIS revisions webpage that has resources to inform you about proposed changes to the QRIS. Many of these resources will be available in Spanish. We urge you to visit this website often as we add content to support you during these 100 days.
EEC is pleased to offer you a number of ways to provide input. First, we will be hosting a series of in-person public meetings across the Commonwealth. You may offer comment on any of the four MA QRIS program types (family child care, community center-based, public school preschool, afterschool/out-of-school time) at all of these meetings. You do not need to RSVP to attend. The schedule for these meetings is as follows:
* Thursday, September 14: EEC Taunton Office, Taunton, 11:00am-1:00pm
* Wednesday, November 1: Plymouth Public Library, Otto Fehlow Room, Plymouth, 6:30-8:30pm
Secondly, in the coming weeks, you will find a link on our website to an online survey to solicit your feedback on the proposed changes to the MA QRIS. Staff who work with more than one program type can take the survey multiple times. The family child care version of the survey will be available in English and Spanish.
Finally, you may offer your feedback about QRIS revisions
via a webinar on Friday, October 20 from 12:30-2pm. During the webinar, we will give a broad overview of the standards revision process, share EEC's guiding principles for the revisions, explain the changes from the current standards to the draft revised standards, and take questions live. You may register online to participate in the webinar.
During the revision process, we encourage you to:
* Stay engaged in continuous quality improvement, rather waiting for the revisions to take effect. (Please note that your program's current MA QRIS rating will be maintained once QRIS revisions are implemented.)
* Reach out to the Program Quality Unit staff with any questions about the QRIS. You can find your Program Quality Specialist (PQS) on EEC's website.
* Keep in mind that the MA QRIS will continue to evolve over time. EEC expects to refine and revise its QRIS to reflect best practices and current research in the field of early childhood education on a periodic basis.
* Understand that MA QRIS revisions will be supported by updated information technology (IT) applications, such as a user-friendly QRIS Program Manager. We will not launch a new system without the IT to support it.
Lastly, in the coming months, EEC will be working on some interim changes to the current MA QRIS to make it more user-friendly while the new version is being developed. Please visit our website often to stay updated on these changes.
We look forward to your participation in this public hearing period. Thank you for your commitment to the children and families of the Commonwealth.
Thomas L. Weber