Quality Assessment

Promote quality through reliable early childhood assessment. Since 2007, the McCormick Center assessment team has provided essential evaluation, feedback, and coaching support for Illinois’ quality improvement efforts, including the Quality Counts quality rating system (QRS) and the ExceleRate™ Illinois quality recognition and improvement system (QRIS). As you can see in our theory of change, our role is to inform and improve quality rating and improvement systems.

Get support for your quality improvement efforts.

Contact us to learn more about our work; processes for developing a reliable assessment team; information about evaluation, coaching, and quality improvement supports; or for resources to support your community and state quality improvement initiatives.

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Reliable assessment: The foundation for quality improvement efforts

Integrated assessment efforts offer programs, leaders, families, and communities needed information and support to ensure every child has the best start in life. Essential ingredients of quality that foster every area of development include:

  • stimulating and age-appropriate cognitive support,
  • rich language and teaching interactions,
  • responsive relationships, and
  • child-centered learning experiences.

The goal is to prepare young children with 21st century skills to promote success in school and life. These skills include critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication, along with competencies and dispositions to be life-long learners.

8 assessment tools

used with reliability by our team

12,000+ assessments

conducted in early childhood school and community programs in Illinois

10+ years experience

informing and improving Illinois’ quality improvement efforts

Our Work

To support continuous quality improvement in the field, our assessment teams provide accurate feedback to programs in the City of Chicago and throughout Illinois that serve children birth through school age in public and community-based programs. Our quality feedback provides needed information to set coaching priorities and guides the direction of continuous quality improvement for teaching and leadership in programs. We use the following scales:

  • Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale (FCCERS)
  • Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale- Revised (ITERS-R)
  • Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-3)
  • School Age Environment Rating Scale, Updated (SACERS- U)
  • Infant, Toddler, and Pre-K Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)
  • Program Administration Scale (PAS)
  • Business Administration Scale (BAS)
  • ISBE Pre-K Compliance Checklist

Supporting one set of standards throughout Illinois

In addition to feedback given to programs across the state, we provide coaching support for Illinois’ Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) specialists who serve Illinois Department Human Services (IDHS) and coaches and technical assistance specialists who serve the Illinois State Board of Education.

In 2018, we began providing evaluation services for Chicago Public Schools’ preschool programs and the City of Chicago birth-through-age-five early childhood settings located in community, Head Start, and family child care programs. We also support the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development and Illinois’ integrated statewide efforts to give all children a strong foundation for development and learning before they begin Kindergarten.