Levels of Quality
Quality experiences that promote children's healthy growth and development are provided at each level. As child care providers move from one level to the next, those opportunities increase.
Starting with meeting basic health and safety needs at Level One and topping out with national accreditation at Level Four, each quality level is tailored to suit the needs of licensed centers, family child care homes and unlicensed registered ministries. The system awards providers for ongoing efforts to achieve higher standards of quality.
Level 1 – Health & Safety Needs are Met
Paths to QUALITY participants who meet Level 1, have demonstrated that they are operating in good standing and have been recognized by the state of Indiana to meet all required health and safety standards. For homes and centers, this means that they hold a current state license. For ministries this means they have met the voluntary certification standards.
Level 2 – Environment Supports Children’s Learning
Paths to QUALITY participants who achieve Level 2, have demonstrated a commitment to improve program quality and offer opportunities for children to advance their growth and development. Level 2 participants have demonstrated participation in on-going training and professional development, having achieved or working toward a degree or other nationally recognized child care certification. Level 2 programs will have evidence of consistent daily schedules, planned daily activities for children, and will provide relevant program information to families.
Level 3 – Planned Curriculum Supports Children's Development
Paths to QUALITY participants who achieve Level 3 have demonstrated knowledge and skill to plan appropriate activities and opportunities for children that lead to school readiness. Level 3 participants use child observations, assessments, and portfolios to design activities which are inviting, engaging, and challenging to all children in their care. Level 3 programs have made a significant investment in the professional development of the staff and lead caregiver, and incorporate family and staff input into the program.
Level 4 – Achieves National Accreditation
Paths to QUALITY participants who achieve Level 4 have demonstrated a commitment to the highest level of professionalism in child care, achievement of a nationally recognized accreditation. To achieve accreditation, programs volunteer to be measured against rigorous national standards. Level 4 providers have achieved accreditation and are also managed by a provider or director who has achieved a degree or equivalent and has volunteered to provide mentoring to others in the field.
Approved Accrediting Bodies
To meet the highest standards for high quality early care and education, Level Four
(4) of Paths to QUALITY™ requires the child care program to achieve and maintain accreditation by one of the following nationally recognized accrediting bodies approved by the Bureau of Child Care:
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA)
Council on Accreditation (COA)
National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)
Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI)
21 hours ago