For Providers

Bright & Early ND is North Dakota’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) that helps identify high quality child care and early educational programs that prepare children for school and life. It is a must for providers trying to influence and change kids' lives in a positive way! Bright & Early ND is an initiative led by the ND Department of Human Services to ensure that North Dakota's children receive the quality child care and preschool they need to succeed. We recognize talented child care and preschool providers for going above & beyond and deliver professional rewards for a job well done.


Bright & Early ND uses a consistent set of quality indicators that are organized into four standards:

  • Health and Safety
  • Space and Materials
  • Activities and Experiences
  • Relationships and Interactions 

Each step focuses on a specific component of care and builds upon the other to deliver a higher level of care.

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You’re busy. We get it. Bright & Early ND isn’t going to give you more to do, it’s going to show you what to focus on to get the maximum results for kids. We take the guesswork out of preparing children for kindergarten. Great school years, start with great child care years- it’s that simple.

The Bright & Early ND Playbook is your go-to guide. It establishes a statewide level of quality and contains four steps proven to deliver positive results for children. Commit to carry out the steps in the Playbook and children in your program are more likely to enter kindergarten with the skills needed to be successful in school and life.

Bright & Early ND Playbook (PDF, 1.2 MB)


All licensed programs start at Step 1: Health & Safety. Children need to be healthy and feel safe to learn and grow. It’s the first step in preparing children to be ready for school, work and life. We have partnered with Growing Futures to make the application process more streamlined. Check out our 'Helpful Resources' page for tip sheets and step-by-step tutorial on how to apply for Bright & Early ND.

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Since day one, Bright & Early ND has made it a priority to recognize and reward providers for going above and beyond! Are you looking to enhance your environment or add new learning materials? Want recognition for a job well done? You’ve got it. You’ll have support every step of the way with these exclusive benefits at your fingertips.

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