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Quality Initiatives and Research | ExceleRate™ Illinois (QRIS)

As part of the Race-to-the-Top/Early Learning Challenge, Illinois developed ExceleRate™ Illinois, a cross-sector quality rating and improvement system designed to improve the developmental outcomes of children enrolled in early learning and development programs located in centers, schools, and family child care homes. ExceleRate™ Illinois has four progressive Circles of Quality that build upon licensing standards as the foundation of quality. The Program Administration Scale (PAS) is embedded in each of the Circles of Quality for center-based programs. At the Bronze Circle, the program administrator attends the “Getting Ready for the PAS” training. At the Silver Circle, the program administrator conducts a self-assessment using the PAS and develops a quality improvement plan for any subscale below 4.5, verified by a Quality Specialist. At the Gold Circle, the program administrator chooses four subscales (in addition to the required Child Assessment and Family Partnerships subscales) to be assessed by a state-approved contractor and achieves an overall score of 5 on each of the 6 subscales. For more information visit:

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