Great Start to Quality (GSQ) strives to help families make informed decisions about child care and support child care programs as they improve their quality and provide the best care possible for children. Since launching GSQ in 2011, we’ve learned a lot about how to define and assess quality and how to help child care professionals improve services for children. Based on your feedback and guidance from content experts, we are in the process of improving the Great Start to Quality system.
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The Latest News
Stay informed about the improvements to the rating process and what you can do to be ready for the changes. Communications will be linked here once they are published.
In 2020, feedback from providers, families, child care licensing, community partners, and others was gathered through surveys, interviews and focus groups.
In 2018, the Michigan Department of Education-Office of Great Start funded an independent study of Great Start to Quality to determine:
- if and how GSQ measures “quality” for licensed centers and home-based providers; and
- the difference between ratings in terms of quality.
The report published in 2019, which included 182 programs, provided recommendations for improving the rating process based on the study results.
Step 1: Convene an Advisory Committee
This work began in the fall of 2019 when a group of 24 providers, partners, and stakeholders came together to make recommendations to improve Great Start to Quality. They represent diverse perspectives and all regions of the state.
Step 2: Listen to Families and Child Care Professionals
The Advisory Committee started its work by listening to feedback from child care professionals and parents across Michigan. They also engaged national experts and learned about how other states are focusing on quality.
Your voice matters. So far, over 3,600 child care professionals and parents have participated in this process—primarily by completing a survey about GSQ. (See a full report of their perspectives in the Next Steps for Michigan’s Great Start to Quality report.) If you want to share feedback with the Great Start to Quality Advisory Committee, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Families and child care professionals provide important insights, and we’re grateful for your input!
Step 3: Develop Recommendations
Based on this feedback, the Advisory Committee is developing recommendations about:
- The 5 Categories of Quality
- The indicators used to measure quality
- How to focus more on improvement, rather than rating
- How to talk clearly about ratings
- And more
Step 4: Adopt Recommendations and Plan for Implementation
The Advisory Committee is currently developing recommendations. After the Advisory Committee finalizes its recommendations, they will be shared with the Michigan Department of Education-Office of Great Start. Once the recommendations are reviewed and approved by the Michigan Department of Education-Office of Great Start, plans will be made for putting the changes in place. This will include communication, training, and system changes. Volunteers will help pilot the changes.
Step 5: Full Implementation
Our goal is to fully implement these changes by fall 2022. There will be opportunities along the way to learn more and share your feedback.
Here’s a summary of the entire improvement effort. Our goal is to keep you informed at every step along the way. View the full timeline.