When early learning and school-age programs offer quality programming, they provide equitable access to experiences that support each child’s unique developmental needs and help to prepare them for school and life. Quality classroom and program leadership/management practices are important components of programming that shape children’s experiences. Assessment of these practices provides valuable feedback about the current experiences of the children and the program’s approaches to leadership and management including practice strengths and areas for potential growth. Early learning and school-age programs use assessment feedback to create goals for continuous quality improvement (CQI).
The feedback may be gathered through internal assessment of practices carried out by program staff and external assessment conducted by a trained and reliable Program Quality Assessor. Program Quality Assessors use approved program observation instruments (POI) to collect information on a range of practices through external assessments, including but not limited to teacher-child interactions, classroom environments, and business practices. The feedback provided through external assessment compliments the program’s internal review of practices and enhances the available feedback for setting CQI goals.
Program Quality Assessors also provide professional development for early learning and school-age program staff to support their understanding of developmentally and culturally appropriate practices and POI use; and they partner with programs to support their internal processes and CQI journey.
Please visit the other PQA pages from the navigation on the right for more information on POIs and the many resources available through PQA.