Granite Steps for Quality Capacity Building Project

The GSQ Capacity Building project’s objective is to strengthen the systemwide infrastructure of NH’s Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS), Granite Steps for Quality (GSQ), through coaching supports, onboarding incentives, pilot projects, and professional development opportunities. In partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Child Development and Head Start Collaboration, early childhood and out-of-school time programs will receive continuous quality improvement (CQI) supports to ensure that children experience safe, responsive, and enriching interactions and environments.

The GSQ Capacity Building Project Incentives Available:

Below are some of the projects and pilots DHHS will be supporting with this funding:

Incentives for programs currently awarded in GSQ on Pyramid or Environment Rating Scales (ERS) pathways including coaching, materials, toys, and financial supports, professional development opportunities, and individualized CQI planning.

Statewide Infrastructure building for expanding system of trainers, assessors, fidelity tool administrators/anchors, and coaches to support Pyramid Model and ERS programs in GSQ and the greater professional development system.

Multifaceted evaluation efforts including a process evaluation (focus groups, survey, interviews), a proposed validation study of current system’s effects on quality improvement, and general system updates and recommendations based on research and feedback.  

Credential incentives for professionals in ECE and OST programs who earned at least one new credential within the duration of the GSQ Capacity Building Contract. More Information here

Expansion of free college coursework offered at the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) during spring, summer, and fall 2024 semesters. More information here.

Provide technical assistance and support to attain or maintain NAEYC accreditation and GSQ participation as well as to identify possible sources for sustainable funding for Accreditation Facilitation Pilots. 

The Mental health consultation pilot is a partnership with Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) and early childhood programs that have been awarded in GSQ in the Monadnock region to provide child care placements for children placed in foster care.

Early Childhood Family Mental Health Credential (ECFMHC): Update and enhance the components of the ECFMH through the New Hampshire Association for Infant Mental Health (NHAMIH). More information here.

The Mixed Delivery Pre-Kindergarten pilot highlights standards connected to quality improvement indicators for a select few GSQ Step 3 or 4 programs (NAEYC and full-day Head Start programs included) by examining the processes, benefits, and challenges of implementation.  Evaluation findings could inform future determinations for a state-funded NH Preschool Program.

2023-2024 Mixed Delivery Sites:

  • Lancaster Play and Learn – Coos County
  • Keene Day Care – Cheshire County
  • Early Childhood Adventures – Hillsborough County
  • Easterseals – Hillsborough County
  • Strafford Head Start – Dover and Farmington – Strafford County
  • Laconia Head Start – Belknap County
  • Concord Head Start – Merrimack County

Contact Information

To learn more information about the Granite Steps for Quality Capacity Building Project, please email:

[email protected]