Supplemental Guidelines for Quality Improvement

This document is intended to provide guidance to child care programs participating in Quality Counts. As such, it outlines guidelines of quality and provides a breakdown of indicators that describe what a program’s general level of quality will look like when the guidelines are being met. As a supplement to the Quality Counts standards, it is meant to be an additional resource utilized when considering a quality program and includes two areas that contribute to program quality:

  1. Ratio & Group Size
  2. Program Administration

Ratio & Group Size

Level of QualityRatioGroup Size
lowerMeets licensing requirements:
Infants 1:4
Ones 1:6
Twos 1:11
Threes 1:15
Fours/Fives 1:20
Per DCF licensing: N/A
lowerInfants 1:4
Ones 1:6
Twos 1:9
Threes 1:13
Fours/Fives 1:16
Maximum 8
Maximum 12
Maximum 18
Maximum 26
Maximum 32
midInfants 1:4
Ones 1:5
Twos 1:8
Threes 1:12
Fours/Fives 1:13
Maximum 8
Maximum 10
Maximum 16
Maximum 24
Maximum 26
midInfants 1:4
Ones 1:5
Twos 1:7
Threes 1:10
Fours/Fives 1:11
Maximum 8
Maximum 10
Maximum 14
Maximum 20
Maximum 22
higherInfants 1:3
Ones 1:4
Twos 1:6
Threes 1:9
Fours/Fives 1:10
Maximum 8
Maximum 8
Maximum 12
Maximum 18
Maximum 20

Program Administration

Level of Quality 
lowerProgram gathers demographic info (race, ethnicity, language) for all staff and children;
Program knows its current staffed capacity & enrollment;
Program tracks child attendance and notifies families if a child is absent 3 or more times in one month;
Provider has a computer with internet access and email;
Program has a mission or vision statement, and a business/strategic plan.
lowerProgram has a comprehensive Staff Handbook;
Staff orientation provides all new hires the Staff Handbook and Family Handbook and all personnel policies ;
All documents for staff are written in two most common languages of staff;
Program uses three or more marketing tools;
Program has a current year operating budget (including revenue & expenses).
midStaff meetings are held at least once per quarter;
100% staff employed for more than one year have annual staff evaluations documented, signed and dated within the last 12 months and must include teacher self-evaluation;
Staff evaluate the program in writing annually;
Program has a plan for communicating with prospective families and follow-up action is taken after all prospective parent inquiries.
mid100% of staff employed for more than one year have annual staff evaluations documented, signed and dated within the last 12 months and must include teacher self-evaluation and classroom observation;
Program uses a salary scale that is differentiated by position, education, training, and years of experience and is available in the Staff Handbook.
higherStaff meetings are held at least once per month;
100% evaluated staff must have specific goals identified based on their last evaluation and measured at each evaluation;
Program uses a staffing plan that provides classroom coverage so that children are not regrouped at the beginning or end of the day.