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Family and Social Services Administration

Paths to QUALITY Home > Info for Families > Overview Overview

Much like the many available rating services that help consumers locate higher quality goods and services, Paths to QUALITY gives parents a quality seal of approval they can look for when choosing care for their children.

  • It provides a tool they can use to locate Paths to QUALITY providers
  • It provides an assurance that they are finding quality care for their children
  • It provides a simple system to identify the level of care a provider offers, from basic health and safety needs of Level One to national accreditation of Level Four

All Paths to QUALITY child care providers will receive a yearly visit to determine which of the four quality levels they offer children. Use the checklists on this web site to help you determine what level care you want for your child… or what level you think your current provider is offering.

The standards for Paths to QUALITY are consistent but tailored for family child care homes and for licensed centers and unlicensed registered ministries. Paths to QUALITY is a system where each level builds on the foundation of the previous one, resulting in significant quality improvements at each stage and resulting in national accreditation at the highest level. The four levels address:

  • LEVEL 1 - Health and Safety needs of children met
  • LEVEL 2 - Environment supports children's learning
  • LEVEL 3 - Planned curriculum guides child development and school readiness
  • LEVEL 4 - National accreditation (the highest indicator of quality) is achieved

The Experts Agree

Before going statewide, Paths to QUALITY standards were rigorously analyzed in a scientific study conducted by the Child Development and Family Studies experts at Purdue University.

The results of the study were clear:

  • There is “substantial scientific evidence for the validity of the Paths to QUALITY standards
  • “The Paths to QUALITY program has the potential to increase the quality in child care centers, child care ministries, and child care homes”
  • “The Paths to QUALITY system has the potential to help child care providers increase their support of Indiana young children’s learning, development, and well-being.”

Make sure you choose the best care for your child. It's a choice that lasts forever!