As part of revisions to the Great Start to Quality rating process, the Classroom Assessment Scoring System or CLASS, will replace the Program Quality Assessment (PQA) tools for on-site observations. During the pilot this month, programs have volunteered to have a CLASS observation to gather data. This data will inform decisions about how CLASS scores will be used in determining ratings. The Great Start to Quality Assessment Team will also have the opportunity to use the tool in various child care program types to help inform those decisions.
CLASS is a nationally recognized tool for measuring adult-child interactions. Children in classrooms with higher CLASS scores have been proven to have better social-emotional, cognitive, and academic outcomes. CLASS is used across the country in Head Start programs, Quality Rating and Improvement Systems like Great Start to Quality, and in all child care program types serving a variety of age groups. Learn more about why CLASS is a great tool for program quality improvement.
See more about why the Michigan Department of Education-Office of Great Start is making the shift to CLASS for Great Start to Quality.
Supporting Providers with CLASS Training
The Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) implements the rating process for Great Start to Quality and is committed to providing information and training for providers prior to the shift to CLASS from the Program Quality Assessment (PQA) taking place. Beginning in summer 2021, informational sessions will be provided through MiRegistry. More information will be shared once the opportunities are available.
Resource Center staff will also be trained and ready to support providers as they prepare to use CLASS in the future.
Great Start Readiness Programs
CLASS observations will also replace PQA-R for Great Start Readiness Programs (GSRPs) who choose to pursue higher ratings. Information on CLASS was recently shared with GSRPs in this memo.
Visit the CLASS® Will Replace PQA webpage where information will be updated on how the tools will be incorporated into Great Start to Quality in the future. More information on how Great Start Readiness Programs will be supported in this transition will be provided in the months and weeks to come as well.