Best Practices and Quality Assurance

Best Practices are the standards of excellence a high-functioning agency meets in organizational functions and service delivery. The Best Practices elements are based on research and input from the field of CCR&R. The elements include service outcomes, rationales, criteria and indicators for meeting each criterion. An agency is encouraged to always be aware of the service outcome and criterion that ties to the indicator.

View the Best Practices for CCR&RS:

Best Practices for CCR&Rs, 2nd Edition (61.91 KB)

View the Best Practices for State Networks:

Best Practices for State Networks (1.04 MB)

At this time, Child Care Aware® of America is not accepting applications for the Best Practices Self Study program or the Quality Assurance program. For more information about the redesign and launch of the Quality Assurance Program please contact Jen Bump, Senior Director, Practice Innovation, at or call (703) 341-4107.

In the meantime, the Best Practices for CCR&Rs and State Networks continue to provide the framework for agencies striving toward continuous quality assurance. Child Care Aware® of America is committed to sustaining the value of the Quality Assurance validation program. For those who have been validated and others who are in the program, Quality Assurance validation remains a strong indicator an agency is meeting best practices.


Quality Assurance has a number of advantages for both State Networks and CCR&Rs.

  • Allows State Networks to seek validation in State Network Best Practices.
  • Affords State Networks the ability to minimize the monitoring efforts of validated local CCR&Rs because they can be assured that validated CCR&Rs are meeting best practices criteria as they deliver the highest level of service possible.
  • Enables CCR&Rs to seek validation in all function areas offered including: Core Competencies, Parent Services, Provider Services, Business & Community Services, and Subsidy Management.
  • Permits agencies to remain validated for five years, subject to successful annual reviews.
  • Offers agencies high-quality online training and individualized and group technical assistance.
  • Gives agencies access to an easy-to-use online submission process that can be regularly reviewed and updated.
  • Provides agencies with a host of optional services that can be utilized to help facilitate the validation process, such as onsite technical assistance, content area training, and much more.

Value of Validation

Quality Assurance is a comprehensive validation process that enables CCR&Rs to become validated in all service areas and serve as models of excellence in the field of Child Care Resource & Referral. Quality Assurance enables CCR&Rs and State Networks to improve quality and strive for excellence just as accreditation and quality rating systems do for providers. It can benefit every State Network and CCR&R in the same way that the Good Housekeeping Seal benefits consumer products and the AAA rating benefits other service delivery providers. Ultimately, it will catapult participating agencies into the upper echelon of CCR&Rs across the country.

For those agencies currently Quality Assured, the following is still applicable:

Child Care Aware® of America Quality Assurance Phase
  1. At the end of each of the first four years of validation as a Quality Assured CCR&R or State Network, the agency will prepare and submit to Child Care Aware® of America a report identifying changes to staff, structure and services.
  2. After reviewing the report and conducting additional Direct Assessments, if required, Child Care Aware® of America will re-validate the agency for an additional year, unless the evidence demonstrated that the agency is no longer meeting Best Practices.

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