Getting Started

Great Start to Quality uses the Program Quality Assessment (PQA) tool for on-site assessments. The tool used for the program will be at least one of the following: 
From the HighScope Educational Research Foundation: 
  • The Infant-Toddler PQA 
  • The Preschool PQA 
  • The Family Child Care PQA 

From the Weikart Center for Youth Program Development: 

  • The School-Age PQA with Extended Observation Scales 

The best way to prepare for an on-site assessment is to look at the PQA before the observation. All levels in each row show the indicators and examples. To get a copy of a PQA:

If the program receives a 4 or 5 Star validation, it will be required to have an on-site assessment before receiving a published rating.  

On-site assessment includes:

  • A member of the Assessment Team will contact the program to gather information and answer any questions.
  • The on-site assessment is unannounced during a scheduled window of time. The goal is to complete the assessment during a typical day at the program. The program has the chance to give a small number of dates that may not be a typical day (i.e. field trip days).
  • If the program is not able to or chooses not to have the on-site assessment completed at that time, it will be eligible to receive a 3 Star until it is ready to complete the process.
  • After the on-site assessment is complete, the program will receive results from a Quality Improvement Consultant from your local Great Start to Quality Resource Center.

What to Expect