Quality Care Matters

What are “Quality Early Childhood Programs?”

Quality early childhood programs provide experiences that optimize each child’s development, learning and health, engage families and communities in partnerships while cultivating life-long learners and productive members of society.

Quality Care Matters

NH’s Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS)

NH has a new voluntary quality recognition system for licensed child care providers, known as Granite Steps for Quality (GSQ). Formally, NH had three (3) designations for quality child care: Licensed, Licensed Plus, and Accreditation (accredited programs). With this new QRIS, programs will focus on two quality standards which will promote a culture of continuous quality improvement. This focus will help improve the overall quality of Early Care and Education and Out-of-School Time programs in the state, thereby improving outcomes for children and families.

For more information on Granite Steps for Quality, please see the Guide and Applications below:

Within the next few weeks the Bureau of Child Development and Head Start Collaboration will be sending
out more information to help programs apply for GSQ. Below you will find upcoming opportunities: 

Granite Steps for Quality Introduction and Overview Webinar: Please join us for a webinar overview of the new Quality Recognition and Improvement System – Granite Steps for Quality (GSQ). This important webinar will give you an overview of the system and introduce you to the application, award and incentive processes. This presentation will include a Q & A option in the chat and be the basis for the development of the GSQ FAQs.

Core Knowledge Area: Developing as a Professional
Trainers: Andrea Foster, Professional Development Specialist; Emma Salerni, QRIS Support Coordinator; and Denise Martin, Operational Quality Specialist
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 12:30-1:30 PM

Professional Development Opportunities:

Consider enrolling in a Q-Ready Progressive through Child Care Aware of NH for Training and Technical Assistance. These Progressives include:

Q-Ready Pyramid Model Intro and Overview: Supports Programs to obtain Pyramid Model knowledge in order to build and implement Pyramid Model practices within their program.

Q-Ready Environment Rating Scale(s): Supports Programs to gain an understanding of the different Environment Rating Scale (ERS) Tools, navigate the appropriate ERS tool, use the ERS to assess their classroom or program and use that assessment to enhance program quality.

Q-Ready Staff Qualifications Initiative: Supports Programs and their staff in navigating the NHCIS Professional Registry, assess individual knowledge and skills using teacher competencies, creating annual professional development plans and applying for individual credentials and/or endorsements through the NH Early Childhood Professional Development System.

For more information on how to apply and enroll, you may visit the “Technical Assistance” Page. Questions? Contact us at 603-578-1386, ext. 2526 or ext. 2532 or via email at ccrrta@snhs.org.

How to Report a Concern about a Child Care Provider

The Child Care Licensing Unit will investigate concerns/complaints:

  • That are based upon first-hand knowledge or information reported directly by a child who has first-hand knowledge;
  • When there is sufficient specific information for the department to determine that the allegation(s), if proven to be true, would constitute a violation of any Child Care Licensing Rule or Law;
  • Involve an incident that occurred within the last 6 months; or
  • That involves an incident that occurred anytime if the complaint alleges physical injury or abuse, verbal or emotional abuse, or the danger of physical injury to one or more children.

Contact CCLU with any questions about a child care program or if you are not sure if your concern meets the complaint criteria.

Services for Children and Families

DHHS helps individuals and families find and receive assistance through programs including financial assistance, Food Stamps, Medical, Child Care, Nutrition and Community Services.

What to consider when looking for a quality early childhood program

There are many factors families take into consideration including types of care, price, availability, quality care and location. This consumer statement provides families with information on how to support them with making a choice.

NH Child Care Licensing Unit

The Child Care Licensing Unit (CCLU) ensures that children attending NH child care programs are in safe and healthy environments and are provided with care, supervision and developmentally appropriate activities that meet each child’s physical and emotional needs.

The CCLU licenses and monitors seven categories of child care programs: Family Child Care Homes, Family Group Child Care Homes, Group Child Care Centers, Child Care Nurseries, School Age Programs, Night Care Programs, and Residential Child Care Programs.  The CCLU also monitors license exempt providers enrolled to accept NH DHHS Child Care Scholarship.

Monitoring of Child Care Providers

All licensed programs and license exempt providers who are enrolled to accept NH DHHS Child Care Scholarship are required to be monitored by the CCLU. Child care programs are also required to meet health and safety training requirements.

Monitoring Statements

The CCLU provides monitoring inspection reports for each on-site visit to a child care program. This report outlines if there were any health and safety violations and includes action step(s) the child care program took to correct the violation(s).

Criminal Background Checks

All licensed programs and license exempt providers who are enrolled to accept NH DHHS Child Care Scholarship are required to complete a criminal background check.