Exposure to high-quality child care is the foundation for a child's academic and social-emotional success, especially for children from low-income families. Increasing access to subsidized child care is one of the many strategies used to provide affordable early education to children from low-income families. However, increasing access alone is not enough when it comes to early learning. Children need to be in high-quality care to reap the many benefits.
One systematic way to measure and increase quality of child care programs is through a state's Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS). QRIS is a systematic framework used to measure, improve, and communicate the quality of early childhood education (ECE) providers across a range of indicators. In Texas, this system is called Texas Rising Star (TRS). TRS is only open to child care providers who accept families receiving subsidy child care assistance. While TRS offers incentives for participation including professional development and increased reimbursement rates, currently TRS reaches only a fraction of lowincome children and the providers.