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Iowa's Quality Rating System (QRS) is a voluntary child care rating program for DHS Licensed Centers, DHS Licensed Preschools, Department of Education programs and Child Development Homes. QRS was developed to raise the quality of child care in Iowa, raise the number of children in high-quality child care settings and to educate parents about quality in child care.

QRS uses a rating system geared toward increasing quality. Participating providers are rated with 1 to 5 stars, depending on how many improvement steps they are awarded.

1 star in QRS means the program is meeting standard licensing or regulatory requirements. To reach 2 stars, the provider must meet a set of specific criteria including participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), ChildNet Certification for Child Development Homes and requires trainings for staff. Levels 3-5 are based on a point system where the points are broken into categories. In order to receive any level 3-5 rating, you need to have at least one point in each category and the remainder of points can be in any categories.

Level 5 requires a minimum of 25 points for Child Development Homes and a minimum of 34 points for licensed centers, preschools and school based programs as well as an Environmental Rating Scale (ERS) score of 5.0 or greater from an Iowa State University (ISU) Assessor. Click here to read more about the ERS Scales.

More information about QRS can be found on the Department of Human Services website by clicking here.

 Click Here to view DHS Questions & Answers for QRS Standards