Quality Rating Scale (QRS)

Mother And Daughter Playing With Finger ToysIowa's Quality Rating System (QRS) is a voluntary child care rating system for child development homes, licensed child care centers and preschools, and Child care programs that are operated by school districts. When providers participate in the QRS it helps them stand out to parents and the community demonstrating that they are committed to providing quality child care and are working towards improving the quality of care.

Providers who participate in Iowa’s Quality Rating System can receive onsite technical assistance as they go through the steps needed to improve their quality of care as well as earn achievement bonuses.

The QRS was developed:

  • to raise the quality of child care in Iowa
  • to increase the number of children in high-quality child care settings
  • to educate parents about quality in child care

There are five levels in the QRS. What the different levels mean:

  • Level 1: Provider has met Iowa’s registration or licensing standards.
  • Level 2: Provider has met Iowa’s registration or licensing standards, has received additional training and has made the first steps toward improving quality.
  • Level 3 – 5: Provider has completed items in previous levels and has made significant steps in meeting key indicators of quality in these areas:
    • professional development
    • health and safety
    • environment
    • family and community partnership
    • leadership and administration

More information and a list of recognized quality providers can be found at:

The Department of Human Services QRS site

To speak with someone in our local area about the Quality Rating System, please contact:

Jody Lehman