Best Practices Self Study (12 months)
This self study provides a local CCR&R or a State Network an opportunity to study each of the Best Practices. It gives the agency employees and Board members the opportunity to work as a team to assess the agency's readiness to apply for Quality Assurance. The agency has access to recorded, online training courses and other resources on the Best Practices for each element. The self study provides a quality improvement plan for agency employees and Board members to use to make changes to policies, procedures and practices to meet the Best Practices. An agency interested in applying for Quality Assurance must first complete the Best Practices Self Study.
Quality Assurance Submission Phase (24 months)
The agency submits evidence to demonstrate that it is meeting Best Practices. Child Care Aware® of America also conducts direct assessments of agency services and assesses the agency's website during this phase. It is possible for an agency to make improvements to practices during the Submission Phase. There are no extensions to the 24-month Submission Phase.
From October 1, 2012, through September 30, 2013, Child Care Aware® of America is not accepting applications for the Quality Assurance program. Instead, Child Care Aware® of America will spend fiscal 2013 considering how best to adapt the current program processes and procedures, drawing on the feedback and experience of state and local CCR&Rs who have achieved Quality Assurance. Child Care Aware® of America plans to launch a redesign of Quality Assurance in fiscal year 2014.
Quality Assurance Validation Phase (up to six months)
Child Care Aware® of America provides the agency's submission and reports on all direct assessments, as well as a report from the Quality Assurance Consultant, to a validation panel for review and recommendation for validation. The agency has no responsibility during this phase.
Quality Assured Phase (up to 5 years)
A CCR&R that becomes Quality Assured will report to Child Care Aware® of America changes to staff, structure and services at the end of each of the first four years. After reviewing the report and conducting additional direct assessments, if required, the CCR&R will be re-validated for an additional year.
Quality Assurance Program Information
- Agencies may register and begin Best Practices Self Study at any time.
- Agencies may apply for Quality Assurance Submission Phase at any time upon completion of the Self Study phase. From October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013, Child Care Aware® of America is NOT accepting applications for Quality Assurance.
- Child Care Aware® of America begins cohort groups of agencies that have applied for Quality Assurance Submission Phase quarterly on the first day of the months of January, April, July, and October.
- Child Care Aware® of America provides online resources for all agencies participating in either Self Study or Submission.
- A Quality Assurance Consultant is assigned to each agency for both Self Study and Submission.
- Quality Assurance Consultants do not provide training and/or technical assistance on how to meet Best Practices Standards. The consultants will refer any agency needing such training or technical assistance to other resources at Child Care Aware® of America, the State Network, online or in the CCR&R's community.
- An agency must submit for and successfully demonstrate that it meets Best Practices in all of the following elements: Governance, Management, Information and Assessment, Public Awareness, Public Engagement and Employer and Community Services. An agency must do the same for either Parent Services or Provider Services, or both, depending on the services available for consumers from the agency.
All trainings include references to all Child Care Aware® of America materials developed to support agencies on the topics.
- Agency submits a Best Practices for CCR&Rs Enrollment Form and a non-refundable fee of $600. In addition, agency submits a staffing chart with information for each staff member: first and last name, position, email address, and percent of time spent on each type of agency service.
- Child Care Aware® of America provides online, on demand training to orient the agency employees and Board members on the Quality Assurance Program and to outline the Best Practices Self Study Program.
- Agency Executive Director, a Board representative, the CCR&R director/manager and appropriate program managers take these two trainings during the first month of the Self Study Program. (Data Manager, Parent Services or Referral Manager, Provider Services Manager or Lead Trainer, and other managers are examples of appropriate program managers.)
- Child Care Aware® of America provides the agency access to the Best Practices Self Study website for participants only. The Participants Only webpages provide information and resources by element. Child Care Aware® of America provides information on the Best Practices, documentation a high-functioning agency would have on each element, evidence required for submission for Quality Assurance validation, Child Care Aware® of America developed materials specifically for Best Practices and Quality Assurance and online resources.
- Child Care Aware® of America provides recorded, online on demand training on each element of the Best Practices. Each training topic is between 30 - 90 minutes in length:
- Information and Assessment
- Public Awareness
- Public Engagement
- Parent Services
- Provider Services
- Employer and Community Services
- The agency takes training topics appropriate for the services it offers to consumers, with these recommendations:
- The Executive Director and CCR&R Program Manager take all of the training pertinent to the agency.
- A Board member, preferably the president, takes training on Governance and Management.
- Staff responsible for various topics takes training courses for those topics. For large agencies, the program manager and at least one direct service staff person should take the training.
- The agency should plan to take at least one training course every two weeks to complete the Self Study in six months.
- Upon completion of a training course, the agency is encouraged to develop a quality improvement plan that includes a self-assessment scoring for each indicator, staff assignments, activities and a timeline for each Element.
- Child Care Aware® of America will:
- Respond to questions within two weeks of receipt, unless special circumstances require a longer period of time. In the latter case, the agency will be so notified. (Note: If the same question(s) have been asked and response(s) are on the website either in a technical assistance paper or "Responses to Frequently Asked Questions," the agency will be referred to the website for the response.)
From October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013, Child Care Aware® of America is not accepting applications for the Quality Assurance program. Instead, Child Care Aware® of America will spend fiscal 2013 considering how best to adapt the current program processes and procedures, drawing on the feedback and experience of state and local CCR&Rs who have achieved Quality Assurance. Child Care Aware® of America plans to launch a redesign of Quality Assurance in fiscal year 2014.
- NACCRRA provides a recorded, online training on the Quality Assurance Submission Phase.
- The agency takes online training within 30 days of Submission Phase start date, with these individuals participating in the training:
- Agency director
- CCR&R director, if different
- Program managers
- Board president or designee
- Employees assigned to participate in preparing and submitting documentation
- Employees who might participate in direct assessments
- Employees with responsibilities for the agency's website
- NACCRRA assigns a Quality Assurance Consultant to the agency to track progress on submissions and to respond to agency questions.
- Agency submits required evidence on a schedule defined by NACCRRA. The schedule ensures that the agency receives NACCRRA feedback and recommendations so the agency can make changes, as needed, prior to final submission.
- NACCRRA reviews and provides feedback on each submission within 30 days of the scheduled deadline for receipt, assuming all documents required are submitted together.
- The Quality Assurance Consultant meets quarterly throughout the Submission Phase with the agency's director or designated NQA coordinator (or State Network Coordinator, if appropriate). The meeting is a telephone consultation to review progress on submission. The length of each consultation will not exceed one hour.
- NACCRRA conducts direct assessments as follows:
- Surveys of Board Members, employees and employers and community leaders
- Review of agency's analysis of survey data
- Receipt of action plan based on survey results
- Assessments of referral calls, consumer education packets and online referrals
- Assessment of agency training for providers
- Assessment of agency onsite technical assistance for providers
- The agency must pass the parent services and provider services direct assessments to progress to the validation phase.
- Direct assessments are conducted over the course of the 24-month submission period.
- NACCRRA conducts a review of the agency's website to ensure that it offers comprehensive information for consumers as well as opportunities to access child care referrals and enroll in provider training opportunities.
- NACCRRA continues to provide the agency access to the NACCRRA Best Practices Participants Only website with a variety of resources for more in-depth support on Best Practices.
The CCR&R has no responsibilities during this phase.
NACCRRA Quality Assurance Phase
- At the end of each of the first four years of validation as a Quality Assured CCR&R, the CCR&R will prepare and submit to Child Care Aware® of America a report identifying changes to staff, structure and services.
- After reviewing the report and conducting additional Direct Assessments, if required,Child Care Aware® of America will re-validate the CCR&R for an additional year, unless the evidence demonstrated that the CCR&R is no longer meeting Best Practices for CCR&Rs.