What does Quality Counts Quality Rating System (QRS) Certification mean to you and your child?

Participation in QRS means a child care provider has gone the extra mile to help make sure children are receiving an enhanced learning and care experience. This can help prepare each child in care for success in school and in life. A provider's participation in QRS is voluntary. Achieving a QRS Certification means a provider has achieved specific standards of quality set by the State of Illinois.

For IDCFS Licensed Centers and Family Child Care Homes, there are 4 Quality Counts QRS Star Levels that recognize a program for going above minimum state licensing requirements. Whether a program achieves a QRS Star 1 or a Star 4, it shows the commitment of the program to exceed the minimum requirements. QRS Certification is a detailed process that takes many hours of preparation. Independent evaluators, using a set of nationally recognized quality standards, observe the child care environment. They observe how the practitioners work with the children, room set up and what learning materials are available to children. They also review practitioner education and training, and the overall administration of the program.

For License-Exempt Family Child Care providers there are 3 Quality Counts QRS Training Tiers to complete. This training series is a total of 48 hours and reviews child growth and development from birth through age 12; health, safety and nutrition and much more. The training sessions are offered in three Tiers. A provider receives a QRS Training Tier certificate for each Tier completed.

By achieving QRS Certification a child care provider has taken additional steps to help give children a good start in learning and in life.

For detailed information on Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (IDCFS) licensing standards please see the following links.

If you would like more information on the QRS process and how providers achieve QRS Certification, please contact the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies or for more information click here.