QRIS and Licensing
Afterschool in Massachusetts
Every child care program, afterschool or otherwise, that host children up to ages 13 must be licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). This ensures that children are in a safe and supportive environment while at a child care center. Through licensing, programs are entered into a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). QRIS allows providers to improve quality through a tiered system.
Afterschool and early education fall under the same regulation guidelines. As such, afterschool providers are also enrolled in QRIS and must improve quality through the usual means. There is however, disagreement among the afterschool field about what parts of QRIS should apply to them.
Over the last 5 years, EEC has had an open discussion with both the afterschool and early education fields about QRIS and the ways it should be implemented. MAP has worked with our partners to provide EEC with information and feedback from the field.
In the fall of 2017, the EEC Board approved the preliminary guidelines for a new QRIS system. During the public comment period, MAP submitted a letter outlining our concerns with the new system. You can read that letter here.
Some of the primary concerns are:
- The inclusion of an environmental rating scale for evaluation when afterschool programs often consist of a very broad and diverse range of program settings.
- Clarification on requiring "evidence-based family engagement assessments".
- The afterschool career lattice does not reflect the workforce or future needs of the field.
As the board moves forward on discussing policy changes regarding QRIS and licensing, MAP is collecting comments from the afterschool field. Please use the button below to fill out a contact form and let your voice be heard.
If you're a provider who has more questions about become licensed or moving up QRIS click the links below for more information.