Validating Virginia's quality rating and improvement system among state-funded pre-kindergarten programs

Terri J. Sabol*, Robert C. Pianta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Early childhood education programs' quality ratings are the key output of Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS), yet there is little empirical evidence as to whether these ratings relate to child outcomes. The present study examines associations between state-funded targeted pre-kindergarten programs' ratings in Virginia's QRIS and children's growth in pre-literacy skills through kindergarten (. n=2448 children in 71 pre-k programs). Children in higher-rated pre-kindergarten programs had sharper literacy growth in the preschool year compared to children in lower-rated pre-kindergarten programs. There was no difference in children's growth from the spring of preschool to the fall of kindergarten or during the kindergarten year as a function of pre-kindergarten programs' ratings. Implications of these findings are discussed toward understanding the potential of QRIS to assess quality in pre-kindergarten programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-198
Number of pages16
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Issue numberPB
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Early childhood education quality
  • Pre-kindergarten
  • Pre-literacy skills
  • Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS)
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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