The Leading Indicator of Quality Child Care

Iowa Quality for Kids (IQ4KTM) is Iowa’s new Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for DHS 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.

Meet Kaya

Kaya, our quality program Kangaroo, will hop you through everything you need to know for the IQ4K April 2022 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.

Why Your Program Should Participate in IQ4K

Better Overall Level of Program Quality

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.

Bonus Payments and Reimbursement Rates

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. 

Specialized Tracks for Accredited Programs

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.

Less Paperwork!

IQ4K has a brand-new electronic database that will drastically reduce your paperwork requirements.


What's Next?

IQ4K officially rolls out on April 1, 2022! - See the NEWS Release

Take the steps below to prepare.

Important Notice

If your program has a current QRS rating that expires in April-July of 2022, be sure to get in contact (as soon as possible) with your regional CCR&R IQ4K Specialist to start working on your new IQ4K application.  

Helpful Tools

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. 


Child Care Nurse Consultant

Healthy Child Care Iowa contact information for your CCNC.

Link »

Creating a Culturally Diverse Child Care Environment

Report by Patreese D. Ingram, Ed. D. Assistance Professor of Agricultural and Extension Education, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Link »

Department of Human Services

IQ4K Resources & Announcements

QRIS Link » News 9/20/21 »

Early Childhood Iowa Career Pathways

Use this pathway to help make decisions about training and education needed to develop a dynamic career in early childhood.

Link »

Environment Rating Scales

Iowa State University offers step-by-step guidance through helpful changes that make a difference in your work with children.

Link »

i-PoWeR Professional Workforce Registry Videos

Visit CCR&R Training to view How-to video clips for assistance with navigating i-PoWeR. 

Link to Videos » Link to i-PoWeR »

Helpful Resources

Center or Preschool


Guidance & Requirements

  IQ4K Licensed Centers/Preschools Requirement Chart - scroll below to see specialized track charts

  Level 1 Requirements

  Level 2 Requirements

  Level 3 Requirements

  Level 4 Requirements

  Level 5 Requirements

  IQ4KTM Policy Guidance

Nutrition & Physical Activity

  GoNAPSACC website

  Healthy Kids, Healthy Future website

  Nutrition & Physical Activity Self-Assessment, Action Plan and Goals - suggested form

Professional Development

  i-PoWeR Center/SA Checklist

  Professional Development Requirements for IQ4K Levels

  Training Information & Links

Leadership & Administration

  ECI Pathway - Administrator Roles

  Program Assessment - required form

  Quality Improvement Action Plan - required form

  Staff Self-Assessment - required form

Family & Community Partnerships

  Activity Options

  Activity Summary - suggested form

  Annual Conferences - suggested form

  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

  Health & Safety Checklist For Early Care & Education Programs

  Health & Safety Checklist - Action Steps

  Interaction & Relationship Self- Assessment - required form

Teaching Staff Qualifications

  ECI Pathway - Teaching Role

  Related Degrees

  Teaching Staff Qualifications worksheet

Teaching & Learning

  Curriculum Alignment - suggested form

  Screening Assessment Tool - suggested form

Specialized Tracks

  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 Specialists

Location Specialist Email Phone

CCR&R of NW Iowa

Dawn Badker (712) 541-7241

CCR&R of NW Iowa

Heather Hinds (712) 540-6086

CCR&R of NE Iowa

Alison Schmitz (319) 233-0804 x7779

CCR&R of NE Iowa

Jennifer Verhulst (319) 433-7780

CCR&R of SW Iowa

Jenny Moon (712) 579-9052

CCR&R of SW Iowa

Lauren Harryman (712) 579-4304

CCR&R of Central Iowa

Erin Casey (515) 246-3577

CCR&R of Central Iowa

Jessie Mireles (515) 246-3572

CCR&R of SE Iowa

Jodi Norton (319) 321-8810

CCR&R of SE Iowa

Tessa Amato (563) 362-8227