Quality is important in child care settings, but the current tiered quality rating and improvement system scheduled to publish public ratings on December 17, 2012 is flawed.
We are petitioning the ratings from becoming live public information until all 5 of these criteria are met:
a) The assessment(s) being used have been scientifically tested and proven to be reliable and valid for all types of child care settings. (The current system utilizes a self-assessment survey that is based upon some research but has not been scientifically tested.)
b) It is mandated by licensing OR is truly voluntary- meaning that only participating sites show ratings. (This program has been communicated as being voluntary, but those who choose not to participate are still listed in the public ratings)
c) The decision making team includes members from all stakeholders- including teachers, child care providers, and parents. (Not just high level program administrators)
d) The verbiage used in describing the ratings to the public truthfully reflect how ratings are calculated. (The proposed verbiage does not match how the ratings are actually calculated. A site is given a rating based upon the lowest category they score in. This means that a site can be at the highest level on all indicators but one and be rated at a 1 star. The current proposed verbiage is misleading.)
e) A proper set of policies and procedures exist for filing a grievance and appealing a rating. (The grievance and appeals process have not yet been finalized, leaving any site wanting to pursue this avenue no opportunity to do so prior to public posting.
As child care providers, parents, and interested consumers it is important for us to hold the regulatory agencies to the highest standards when rating and releasing information publicly.