Children playing

Public Policy Associates won a new $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families to evaluate Michigan’s revised Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), which will launch in February. Michigan’s QRIS is also known as Great Start to Quality.

The aim of Michigan’s redesigned provider-driven QRIS is to reduce barriers to participation for providers, particularly those that are home-based, and focus efforts on continuous improvement.

PPA currently partners with the Michigan Department of Education, Child Development and Care Office on assessing the effects of child care assistance policy changes. That work continues into 2023. The partnership for this evaluation adds the Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC), which manages the GSQ and plays key roles in implementing the redesigned system.

Colleen Graber, PPA Chief Operating Officer and project director for the Michigan Child Care Research Partnership, remarked, “This evaluation will build on the design changes. We will be examining how responsive it is to providers and how well it is serving families. Those voices are front and center in our research approaches, which is so important to understanding effectiveness.”

“We’re excited to be able to work with MDE and ECIC on this important project,” said Dr. Nathan Burroughs, PPA’s Senior Methodologist. “Creating a stronger, more inclusive quality rating system and a better understanding of child care workforce shortages in relation to quality are key goals. We’re fortunate to have an opportunity to address each of those issues as part of this grant.”

The evaluation launched in October and will continue over four years, with results shared periodically throughout. Watch PPA’s Featured Work page and social media for announcements of new information!