Steps to Quality

Bright & Early ND uses a consistent set of quality indicators that are organized into four quality standards. Each step focuses on a specific component of care and builds upon the others to deliver a higher level of care. In addition, each step incorporates training and continuing education opportunities that are specific to each of the quality standards below. Use our research-based quality ratings to spot the programs that go above and beyond to prepare children for school and life.

What do the quality ratings represent?

  • Step 1 - Health and Safety
    Step 1

    Step 1 Quality Rated programs are licensed by the North Dakota Department of Human Services and go above and beyond basic licensing standards. Step 1 Quality Rated programs provide a safe and healthy environment for children focused on preventing injuries and reducing the spread of germs. 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.

  • Step 2 - Space and Materials
    Step 2

    Step 2 Quality Rated programs continue to meet the requirements of Step 1, and offer a variety of materials to support play and learning experiences for children with different interests and abilities. A child’s work is their play, and having enough of the right materials that are set up in a chosen space encourages children to play. When children develop good play skills, they are better prepared for school, work, and life.

  • Step 3 - Activities and Experiences
    Step 3

    Step 3 Quality Rated programs continue to meet the requirements of Steps 1 and 2, and use an approved curriculum that supports each child’s development and an approved assessment tool to learn about each child’s development. Step 3 Quality Rated programs provide activities and experiences that build upon children's strengths and development. In addition, they demonstrate a continued commitment to providing quality space and materials.

  • Step 4 - Relationships and Interactions
    Step 4

    Step 4 Quality Assured programs continue to meet the requirements of Steps 1–3, and have developed warm and supportive relationships with children and between children. They place an emphasis on children’s interests, motivations, and points of view in daily activities and interactions. They facilitate children’s critical thinking and language development through interactions with children.