Why is on-site program assessment important for your program?
The assessment step of Great Start to Quality is important because it gives you an in-depth and objective look at the practices in your program. Since programs and classrooms are always changing and growing, having an outside person assess your program, will offer you a basis to better support children’s growth and improve your classroom practices.
An assessment provides valuable information for reflection and quality improvement. Once a Great Start to Quality Assessor visits your program and conducts a Program Quality Assessment (PQA), a detailed report will provide you with information on where your program is excelling and where you have opportunities for improvement. A Quality Improvement Consultant from your local Great Start to Quality Resource Center will work with you and your program to understand the report and make any program changes you choose to implement. The PQA is a tool used for evaluating and improving program quality and can be an ongoing asset to your program. As you make improvements to support children and classroom practices, you can choose to request another PQA to work toward increasing your score and Star Rating. An onsite program assessment is available to programs who validate at a 4 or 5 Star.
Why does Great Start to Quality use the Program Quality Assessment?
Great Start to Quality uses the Program Quality Assessment (PQA), because it is a comprehensive tool for all programs, regardless of curriculum in use. The PQA aligns to Michigan’s Early Childhood Standards for Quality, and focuses on children’s progress and early childhood best practices, making it a great tool to support the children and staff in your program. There are different versions of the PQA to support your specific program type and ages served, including preschool, infant/toddler, and family child care.
What does the Program Quality Assessment focus on?
The PQA focuses on the entire program or classroom, including the learning environment, daily routine, adult-child interaction, curriculum planning and assessment, and safe and healthy environment.
Learn more about the Program Quality Assessment (PQA) developed by HighScope®
You can also contact your Great Start to Quality Resource Center to check out a copy of the PQA from the Lending Library.