Granite Steps for Quality

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.

 

The GSQ system is now open for applications. Please apply for the GSQ using the printable application links below. At this time NHCIS online applications are paused until further notice.

Please mail your Application to:

DHHS/DCYF/Child Development BureauATTN: GSQ Manager129 Pleasant StreetConcord, NH 03301

Granite Steps for Quality Announcements and Updates

Read more about important announcements and updates about Granite Steps for Quality (GSQ).

Granite Steps for Quality Quarterly Bonus Invoices

Webinar Series on Granite Steps for Quality

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

Join the BCDHSC/DHHS the GSQ Standard 2: Pathway Series Featuring ERS Intro and Overview

Core Knowledge Area:
Developing as a Professional
Trainers:  Emma Heath-SalerniQRIS Support Coordinator, BCDHSC, Andrea Foster, Professional Development Specialist, BCDHSC 
Date/Time: Friday, February 4, 2022, 12:30-1:30 PM

Join the BCDHSC/DHHS for the GSQ Standard 2: Pathway Series Featuring the Pyramid Model (PM) Intro and Overview

Core Knowledge Area: Developing as a Professional
Trainers: Emma Heath-SalerniQRIS Support Coordinator, BCDHSC and Andrea Foster, Professional Development Specialist, BCDHSC and Sarah Henry, PDG Grant, BCDHSC, DHHS
Date/Time: Friday, February 11, 2022, 12:30-1:30 PM

QRIS: Granite Steps for Quality (GSQ) Multisite Webinar 

Please join The BCDHSC for the latest, “GSQ Webinar: Multisite Programs”. This webinar will discuss common questions from multisite programs, including but not limited to: eligible staff, pathways, credentialing, and training requirements in regards to GSQ.

Core Knowledge Area: Developing as a Professional
Trainers: Emma Heath-Salerni, QRIS Support Coordinator, BCDHSC and Andrea Foster, Professional Development Specialist, BCDHSC
Date/Time: Tuesday, March 22, 2022 12:30-1:30

Upcoming Intro and Overview Opportunities with Child Care Aware of NH:

We hope to see you at some of our upcoming training sessions, before we take a short break for the summer. Child Care Aware holds trainings from September through June, starting in July we will be preparing for our 2022-2023 training season.

We urge you to plan ahead and sign up for our upcoming sessions if you need them to satisfy the Granite Steps for Quality requirements or your annual professional development hours!

Intro and Overview of the Pyramid Model Sessions
Intro and Overview of the Environment Rating Scales Sessions

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 [email protected].

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.

Quality Care Matters

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 and cultivate life-long learners and productive members of society.

family

Five Steps to Choosing Child Care:

  1. Start looking for child care as early as possible.
  2. Make a call to your local child care experts, such as Child Care Aware of NH.
  3. Visit the child care programs you’re considering and ask questions about key indicators of quality, such as adult to child ratio, group size, caregiver qualifications, staff turnover and accreditation.
  4. Make a choice based on what you saw and your family’s needs.
  5. Stay involved by keeping communication open with your child’s caregiver, attending regular meetings with your child’s caregiver, offering to volunteer at the program if able to and join in on special events.
You can also call Child Care Aware of New Hampshire toll-free 1(855) 393-1731 to speak with a friendly Child Care Resource and Referral Outreach Specialist about your child care needs and questions.

NH’s Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS): Granite Steps for Quality

New Hampshire’s voluntary quality recognition system for licensed child care providers, known as Granite Steps for Quality focuses on improving the overall quality of Early Care and Education and Out-of-School Time (OST) programs in the state. Programs participating in GSQ will promote a culture of continuous quality improvement thereby improving outcomes for children and families to thrive and succeed in school and beyond.

The four GSQ Quality Steps are defined by criteria specific to program type based on two standards — Staff Qualifications and Learning Environments. GSQ encourages programs to meet quality standards by offering coaching, technical assistance, and online training along with generous financial incentives including programs serving children in The Child Care Scholarship Program. Through the NH Connections Information System, families seeking high-quality care (including center-based, home-based, Head Start, NAEYC Accredited, and OST programs) can search for programs that proudly display their Quality Step and Endorsements on their program profile.  

Licensed

Licensed programs include child care centers and family child care homes. The Child Care Licensing Unit regulates quality based on the following aspects of child care:

  • Ratio: The number of children per adult in a home or classroom
  • Group Size: The total number of children
  • Health: Policies and practices around illness, immunization, nutrition, cleanliness, and preventing the spread of germs
  • Safety: Practices to make sure the environment is safe, both indoors and outdoors. This includes practices around First Aid and Infant and Child CPR training for staff, fire precautions, criminal background checks, etc.
  • Training, education and experience of the provider: Assures that providers are knowledgeable in child development and other related topics

Accreditation

Accredited programs have gone through a process of self-study and outside evaluation and have met higher standards of quality child care.

National accrediting associations include:

Is This the Right Place for My Child?

There are many factors to consider including types of care, price, availability, quality of care and location.  This consumer statement provides you with information to help you with your choice. To view the Consumer Education Statement click here.

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;
  • That 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.

Click here to 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 additional support including financial assistance, Food Stamps, Medical, Child Care, Nutrition and Community Services.