The extent to which the State and the Participating State Agencies have developed and adopted, or have a High-Quality Plan to develop and adopt, a Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System based on a common set of tiered Program Standards that--
- Are clear and measurable, meaningfully differentiate program quality levels, and demonstrate high expectations of program excellence commensurate with nationally recognized standards* that lead to improved learning outcomes for children; and
- Are linked to the State licensing system.
* See such nationally recognized standards as: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2009). Head Start Program Performance Standards. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. U.S. Department of Defense. (2009). Sure Start Program Guide: Department of Defense Education Activity. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved from: http://www.dodea.edu/curriculum/docs/sureStart/programGuide/guide_surestart.pdf. American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health association, and National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. (2011) Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and education Programs. Elk Grove Village, IL; American Academy of Pediatrics.