Iowa Quality Rating System

Welcome to Iowa's Quality Rating System (QRS), a voluntary child care rating system for child development homes, licensed child care centers and preschools, and Child care programs that are operated by school districts.

Ratings reflect information provided by the program at their time of rating. If a program’s child care license or registration is revoked during the rating period, their QRS rating is also revoked. The QRS status of a program does not reflect other infractions that may occur during the certification period. In choosing a child care program, parents should discuss the current licensing status with the program and be aware that child care centers are required to prominently post provisional licenses.

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
  • to educate parents about quality in child care
There are five levels in the QRS.  For a program to be rated at:
     Level 1:  all the Level 1 criteria must be met. 
     Level 2:  all the Level 1 and Level 2 criteria must be met. 
     Levels 3-5:  all the Level 1 and Level 2 criteria must be met, and then the program must earn a minimum of one point in each of the Level 3-5 categories.  For levels 3-5, the level is determined by the total number of points earned. 
The charts below outline the criteria for homes and centers.

New Home Chart 2-1-11              New Center Chart 2-1-11