Spark, Oregon's Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS), is a program that raises the quality and consistency of child care and early learning programs across the state. It recognizes, rewards, and builds on what early learning and development programs are already doing well. It connects programs and providers with free tools, financial incentives, and professional advice that they can put into practice with confidence.
Providers and programs are invited to participate in Spark after receiving a Spark orientation. After the orientation the steps are:
- The program will complete this application and agree to the terms in the Memorandum of Understanding
- TRI will review this application
- TRI will send a Spark Welcome Kit containing a Portfolio to the program.
- The program will review the Welcome Kit & portfolio
- The program will complete the portfolio
- The program will submit the portfolio for review and rating
The Spark portfolio is how programs will document that their program meets certain quality indicators and will serve as the way to achieve a Star Rating. This 3, 4 or 5-star rating will recognize the program for its quality. Programs may resubmit their portfolio to achieve higher ratings or if they didn't achieve the rating initially applied for. TRI will provide clear guidance about what evidence didn't meet requirements to help programs achieve ratings.
If it is determined the program does not meet participation requirements, contact will be made with the reason(s) why. Programs may reapply in the future.
Spark is administered by The Research Institute (TRI) at Western Oregon Univerisity through a contract with the Early Learning Division, Office of Child Care. For more information about Spark, go to OregonSpark.org.