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 system validates programs and providers for ongoing efforts to achieve higher standards of quality and provides incentives and awards for success. The four levels address:

  • Level One: Health and safety needs of children met.
  • Level Two: Environment supports childrens learning.
  • Level Three: Planned curriculum guides child development and school readiness.
  • Level Four: National accreditation (the highest indicator of quality) is achieved


What Are the Provider Benefits to Participating in Paths to QUALITY?


  • Providers who enroll in Paths to QUALITY will be eligible to participate in specialized mentoring relationships with their local Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agency. Through a technical assistance process, the mentor will help the provider work to achieve Levels 2 and 3. Providers also have the option of choosing self-guided study.
  • All providers who enroll in the Paths to QUALITY system will receive a Participation Incentive. Providers choosing to be mentored will receive the participation incentive at the time of their first visit. Providers who choose self-guided study will receive the participation incentive during their Self-Guided Study Start-Up Session.
  • Enrolled providers who succesfully complete Levels 2 and 3 are eligible for one time non-cash Recognition Awards upon attainment of each level.
  • Providers who achieve Level 3 and desire to move on to Level 4, which includes becoming accredited by an approved national accrediting body, will be eligible for financial support and technical assistance. The amount of financial support is based on need and the number of children enrolled in a program. Support is available to assist with the accrediting process, the validation/endorsement phase, and/or equipment needed to meet the accreditation criteria.
  • After completing the standards for Level 4, providers are eligible for a special one time cash Recognition Award to recognize their achievement of the highest level of quality.
  • An Annual Level 4 Accreditation Maintenance Award will be given to providers who annually maintain the standards for Level 4 as well as accreditation from an approved accrediting body. Additionally, a provider who achieves and maintains accreditation through an approved accrediting body is eligible, on an ongoing basis, to receive a 10% higher reimbursement rate through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Voucher Program.
  • Overall, participation in Paths to QUALITY will give Indiana providers better access to knowledge, information, assistance, materials and general support to help them provide higher quality child care experiences for young children.


How do I enroll in Paths to QUALITY?

Paths to QUALITY is administered statewide by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). For information on a local level, or to start YOUR business down the Paths to QUALITY, contact the regional child care referral agency for your area. Click here to be directed to the Indiana Association for Child Care Resource & Referral (IACCRR) webpage where you can find your agency by region.

For additional information and to view the Standards for Paths to QUALITY click here (link to FSSA