Tackling Program Quality

After all our years of research, we know the importance of regularly evaluating what we do. Then, we find ways to do it better. Our validated rating instrument, the Program Quality Assessment (PQA), provides specific and clear quality indicators with an objective 5-point rating scale that defines program quality along a continuum.

Program quality, like child development, has many dimensions. It includes

  • Structural components — How the classroom learning environment is set up; what happens during the program day.
  • Process — How staff relate to students, parents, one another, and the community. All these interactions affect the learning experience, as do agency-wide factors, which also influence what happens in the classroom and impact children directly or indirectly.

Our Program Quality Assessment tool spans classrooms and ranges of development for infant-​toddler, preschool, and family child care programs. It is available in both print and online versions.

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