Iowa Quality for Kids (IQ4K®) is Iowa’s new Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) licensed Child Care Centers and preschools, registered Child Development Homes and programs operating under the authority of an accredited school district or nonpublic school. IQ4K® provides five levels of quality (building blocks) that programs can achieve and continue to improve on. By implementing Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), IQ4K® allows programs to assess their current grade across all areas of programming and devise a structured plan to increase the overall level of program quality. When you participate with IQ4K®, you could be eligible to earn an Achievement Bonus to support your program. The money is yours to enhance the overall quality of your program.
Funding is now available to reimburse all IQ4K-eligible programs for the cost associated with IQ4K-mandated training. Eligible participants will be reimbursed $20 for every hour designated program staff spend on IQ4K-mandated training. Additional requirements and required documentation details are included on the application form below.
Listed below are suggested forms and required documents to help programs successfully complete IQ4K® applications.
IQ4K Licensed Centers/Preschools Requirement Chart - scroll below to see specialized track charts
Annual Requirements Checklist
Level 1 Requirements
Level 2 Requirements
Level 3 Requirements
Level 4 Requirements
Level 5 Requirements
IQ4K Policy Guidance
GoNAPSACC online assessment or paper assessment
Healthy Kids, Healthy Future online assessment or paper assessment
Nutrition & Physical Activity Action Plan and Goals - suggested form
i-PoWeR Center/SA Checklist
Professional Development Plan - suggested plan
Professional Development Requirements for IQ4K Levels
Training Information & Links
ECI Pathway - Administrator Roles
Program Assessment - required form
Quality Improvement Action Plan - required form
Staff Self-Assessment - required form
Activity Summary - suggested form
Annual Conferences - suggested form
Culturally Sensitive Practices & Procedures - suggested form, required for Level 3
Orientation Policy/Procedure - suggested form
Environment Rating Scale (ERS)
ECERS-3 Score Sheet
ECERS-3 Improvement Plan
ITERS-3 Score Sheet
ITERS-3 Improvement Plan
SACERS-U Score Sheet
SACERS-U Improvement Plan
Environment Rating Scale Assessment Request
Health & Safety Checklist For Early Care & Education Programs
Health & Safety Checklist - Action Steps
Interaction & Relationship Self- Assessment - required form
Supporting Culture & Diversity - suggested form, required for Level 2
ECI Pathway - Teaching Role
Teaching Staff Qualifications worksheet
Assessment Tool - suggested form
Curriculum Alignment - suggested form
IQ4K American Montessori Society (AMS) Requirement Chart
IQ4K Council on Accreditation (COA) Program Requirement Chart
IQ4K Head Start/Early Head Start Requirement Chart
IQ4K IQPPS Requirement Chart
IQ4K NAC Program Requirement Chart
IQ4K NAEYC Accredited Programs Requirement Chart
IQ4K NECPA Program Requirement Chart
IQ4K Child Development Home Requirement Chart - scroll below to see specialized track charts
Early Childhood Positive Behavior Supports for Family Child Care (EC-PBIS-FCC) Forms
i-PoWeR CDH Checklist
Professional Development Plan - suggested form
FCCERS-3 Environment Rating Scale (ERS) Score Sheet
FCCERS-3 Environment Rating Scale (ERS) Improvement Plan
IQ4K NAFCC Program Requirement Chart
IQ4K School-Age Program Requirement Chart - scroll below to see specialized track charts
SACERS-U Environment Rating Scale (ERS) Score Sheet
SACERS-U Environment Rating Scale (ERS) Improvement Plan
IQ4K Council on Accreditation (COA) School-Age Program Requirement Chart
Whether you’re a Child Care Center, preschool, Child Development Home, school-age program or someone who is just thinking about starting your own child care business, we have the tools you need to become successful in the IQ4K® program.
Healthy Child Care Iowa contact information for your CCNC.
IQ4K Resources & Announcements
Articles about Screenings & Assessments
Use this pathway to help make decisions about training and education needed to develop a dynamic career in early childhood.
Iowa State University offers step-by-step guidance through helpful changes that make a difference in your work with children.
Required forms to be loaded for the online application.
Visit CCR&R Training to view How-to video clips for assistance with navigating i-PoWeR and more.
Email announcements for IQ4K.
2/27/23 » 7/26/22 » 5/31/22 » 3/15/22 » 2/15/22 » 1/25/22 » 12/10/21 » 9/20/21 »
Kaya, our quality Kangaroo, will hop you through everything you need to know for the IQ4K® rollout. She covers the benefits of participating in this voluntary rating and improvement system and gives examples of what your program can learn and implement. Follow Kaya on Facebook.
Get structured guidelines that you can directly implement into your program. These include nutrition plans, staff development opportunities, educational plans, goals for kids, and much more.
Your program will receive a bonus payment upon achievement of each IQ4K® level. You can use the bonus for any area of your business. The higher IQ4K® level your program achieves, the higher your Child Care Assistance (CCA) reimbursement rate may be. Several grants and other funding opportunities require a program to have a QRIS rating.
Suppose your program is already meeting enhanced standards through alternative DHS-approved entities (i.e., NAEYC Accreditation, NAFCC Accreditation, Head Start Performance Standards, Iowa Quality Preschool Performance Standards). In that case, IQ4K® will provide specialized tracks to avoid work you’ve already completed.
IQ4K® has a brand-new electronic database that will drastically reduce your paperwork requirements.
Take the steps below to prepare for your application.
Programs are encouraged to connect with their local CCR&R Child Care Consultant to start an application. IQ4K Specialists are available for additional support.
CCR&R of NW Iowa
CCR&R of NE Iowa
CCR&R of SW Iowa
CCR&R of Central Iowa
CCR&R of SE Iowa
Iowa Quality 4 Kids
As a child care provider who participates in IQ4K®, here is an opportunity to showcase your quality. Why? Because families, community and stakeholders won't know of your hard work unless you tell them! Review our IQ4K Marketing Toolkit resources and build a plan that works best for you. Now comes the fun - share the details of your continuous quality improvement successes!
Why showcase your program? Review the benefits of marketing your achievements and the importance of continuous quality improvement.
Language to use when sharing your achievements!
Sample letter highlighting IQ4K participation for families that are looking to enroll in your program.
Use for newspapers, newsletters or social media when you achieve your IQ4K rating.
Use for newsletters or on social media to share your IQ4K achievements every time a new goal is met!
Information to share through newsletters, social media, bulletin boards, parent meetings, etc.
Policy updates coming soon.
Training information to share through newsletters, social media, bulletin boards, parent meetings, etc.
DYK... Fun Facts along with Center, Preschool, School-age and Child Development Home resources coming soon.
Celebrate your IQ4K rating by printing and handing out a coloring book to families in your program.
"I am currently working on getting my IQ4K application completed and have been working with an IQ4K Specialist. She has been very helpful and attentive to my emails and questions. Working with her has been great!" - Tammy, Child Development Home Provider
CCR&R is excited to share details on our services!
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