Step Up to Quality, Nebraska’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for child care and early childhood education providers, has reached a significant milestone: more than 500 programs across the state are participating, and have been rated.
“This achievement means that thousands of children in Nebraska are receiving the best possible care in their most formative years,” said Step Up to Quality Director Lauri Cimino.
The Step Up to Quality process challenges providers to go above and beyond licensing requirements and adopt a mindset of continuous improvement of their program, even when they’ve reached the pinnacle of Step 5. Programs enrolled in Step Up to Quality receive specialized training, access to resources, and financial incentives.
“We celebrate all of the providers in each of the five steps. No matter where providers are at along the Step Up to Quality path, they’re demonstrating a clear commitment to doing the best they can for the children in their care,” Cimino said.
Research about early childhood education is clear about the importance of quality early childhood education. According to Johns Hopkins University, “researchers have learned that the human brain develops the vast majority of its neurons, and is at its most receptive to learning, between birth and three years of age.”
Children who receive quality care from when they are babies through preschool have a stronger foundation from which to grow. High-quality early childhood education closes the achievement gap by helping children develop the cognitive and social skills necessary for school readiness and success later in life.
Participating programs can be found in a number of towns throughout the KCNI/KBBN coverage area including Arcadia, Arnold, Broken Bow, Burwell, Callaway, Gothenburg, Loup City, Stapleton, and Taylor.
About Step Up to Quality
As Nebraska’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), Step Up to Quality helps great child care providers become even better, and helps parents find high-quality care in their area. With 90 percent of brain development occurring before age 5, high-quality early childhood education is crucial to every child’s future – and the future of our state.
Step Up to Quality is operated by the State of Nebraska’s Departments of Education, and Health and Human Services. To learn more about Step Up to Quality, including a list of participating child care providers, visit stepuptoquality.ne.gov.