For Parents

Shop With Confidence

Bright & Early North Dakota is our state's Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), it takes the guesswork out of identifying high quality child care and early education programs.  Use our research-based quality ratings to spot the programs that demonstrate they go above and beyond to prepare children for school and life.  It's easy to get started.  Visit our interactive county map, Bright & Early ND Program Partners , this map showcases all of the programs in your community that have achieved Bright & Early ND status. If you are looking for additional contact information visit our partner, Child Care Aware of North Dakota®.  To begin, select your county on the map.  Then, create a profile for your family.  In your search results, look for the Bright & Early ND quality icons to identify participating programs. If there are no Bright & Early ND programs in your community ask the programs why they are not participating. You are your child's best advocate and they deserve quality child care that will help prepare them for school!

Download Brochure (2 page PDF)

Why Does Child Care Cost So Much?

If child care teachers are paid so little and early childhood programs are struggling to make ends meet, many parents are justifiably left asking the question: Why does child care cost so much? To answer this question, the Center for American Progress has developed an interactive tool that estimates the cost of high-quality child care in each state.  In addition to calculating the monthly cost per child in a center-based program, the tool includes a breakdown of the main expenses that contribute to that cost. Continue reading here... 

-Simon Workman, Center For American Progress 

Why Quality Matters Early On

A child’s most important developmental years are those leading up to kindergarten. 90% of a child’s brain develops between birth and five years old. The choices you make last a lifetime.

Quality Verified By Trained Observation Team

Bright & Early ND uses on-site observation tools to evaluate early care and education programs in action. Bright & Early ND Quality Rated programs gain recognition for demonstrating methods they use to support children’s learning.


If a program doesn’t have a Bright & Early ND Quality Rating, it means they are not yet participating, or don’t meet our rigorous criteria. Ask your current or future child care or early education provider when they plan to join Bright & Early North Dakota.

Bright & Early ND is Research-Based

Science tells us what young brains need to thrive. Bright & Early ND translates this scientific research into 4 quality levels. Studies show that children in high quality early care and education programs, enter school with better math, language and social skills. These skills help your child succeed in school and beyond.

Begin your search for quality child care or preschool programs via our partner, Child Care Aware of North Dakota®.