Quality Improvement Planning

Continuous quality improvement is a process to ensure programs are systematically and intentionally improving services and increasing positive outcomes for the children and families they serve. It is proactive, not reactive. A continuous quality improvement environment is one in which data is collected and used to make positive changes, even when things are going well. The process is meant to be ongoing and generally follows a cycle. Through the process of continuous quality improvement, early care and education programs are able to:

  • Identify needs or barriers
  • Develop strategies of change
  • Implement those strategies
  • Make decisions about ongoing and long-lasting improvements


Continuous quality improvement is an ongoing process that involves the Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle.


Identify areas in need of improvement and develop a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP). Using data to guide decisions and determine what you want to focus on. Possible data could include:

  • Environment Rating Scales® (ERS®), Teaching Strategies GOLD®, or Classroom Assessment Scoring System® (CLASS®) assessments and summary reports.
  • Informal feedback from your QRIS Coach.
  • Current program needs.

Implement the plan in everyday practices.


Analyze the impact and track the results.


Incorporate changes and improvements into the process. Determine if more work is needed or move on to a new area for improvement.

Additional Resources

Mathias, D., Wiggins. K. (2013). Continuous Quality Improvement: An Overview Report for State QRIS Leaders. Retrieved from this source.