Mercy Child Development Center ranks high in quality rating system - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mercy Child Development Center ranks high in quality rating system

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DUBUQUE, IA-Mercy Child Development Center has been recognized as a Quality Rating System Level 4 center. The Quality Rating System (QRS) is a voluntary program through the Iowa Department of Human Services that offers child care providers a guided way to improve the quality of care they provide.

The QRS was developed to raise the quality of child care in Iowa, to increase the number of children in high-quality child care settings, and to educate parents about quality in child care. A QRS rating is in effect for two years. At the end of the two-year period, a program reapplies and receives a new rating.

Emily Painter, director of Mercy Child Development Center, said that participation in the QRS involves all staff members and demonstrates to parents and the community that staff are committed to providing quality child care. "Much of the application is about best practice, every day, in all ways-safety, infection control, curriculum, relationships with families," she said. "One big part of the application is the Environmental Rating Scale. These are very detailed analyses of classroom practice, teacher interaction, room arrangement, materials and equipment, and diversity of opportunities."

There are five levels in the QRS. A provider who achieves Level 1 has met Iowa's registration or licensing standards. A provider who achieves Level 2 has received additional training and made the first steps toward improving quality. Providers in Levels 3 ­- 5 have made significant steps in meeting key indicators of quality in the areas of professional development, health and safety, environment, family and community partnership, and leadership and administration.

Painter said that although participating in the QRS is a long and thorough process, "All of this is worth it because we know it helps us to focus on doing our very best for the children in our care."

Mercy Child Development Center has been in continuous operation since 1974 and provides care for up to 153 children at any one time. The center provides quality, developmentally appropriate care for children age 6 weeks to 12 years.

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