Quality Learning Environments

Quality early learning environments prepare children for social and academic success once they reach kindergarten and beyond. Children in quality learning environments perform better in reading and math in secondary school and have reduced need for special education later. This positive impact is especially pronounced for children in low-income communities where more children spend more hours in non-parental care.

Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) is a statewide rating strategy to measure and help ensure the quality of early learning settings. Of the 228 facilities in the QRIS system in 2013, most meet only minimal qualification, with only two facilities receiving a three-star rating out of a possible five stars.

This system promotes higher standards that address appropriate early learning curriculum, caregiver training, assessment and strong family partnerships by creating standards for health and safety and the qualifications of caregivers.

Ambitiously addressing and improving early learning in Central Oregon is a small but powerful step that will yield long-term results by preparing young learners for academic and social success.

Children Enrolled in High Quality Facilities


Data Source: Prow, Karen. “Children in QRIS Impacted Environments [in 2014].” NeighborImpact, Child Care Resources. E-mail to authors, January 27, 2015.


  • Loeb, S., B. Fuller, S. Kagan, and B. Carrol. “Child Care in Poor Communities: Early Learning Effects of Type, Quality, and Stability.” Child Development 75 (2004): 47-65.
  • Ramey, C. T., and S. L. Ramey. “Early Learning and School Readiness: Can Early Intervention Make a Difference?” Merrill-Palmer Quarterly 50, no. 4 (2004): 471-91.