Iowa currently has two quality rating systems for child care. Iowa formerly used QRS as the rating system 


Iowa's Quality Rating System (QRS) is a voluntary child care rating system for child development homes, licensed child care centers, preschools and Child care programs that are operated by school districts.

The QRS was developed:

  • to raise the quality of child care in Iowa
  • to increase the number of children in high-quality child care settings
  • to educate parents about quality in child care

There are five levels in the QRS.  For a program to be rated at:

     Level 1:  all the Level 1 criteria must be met. 

     Level 2:  all the Level 1 and Level 2 criteria must be met. 

     Levels 3-5:  all the Level 1 and Level 2 criteria must be met, and then the program must earn a minimum of one point in each of the Level 3-5 categories.  For levels 3-5, the level is determined by the total number of points earned. 

Rule 441.118 - Child Care Quality Rating System

QRS Centers

QRS Homes


Iowa Quality for Kids (IQ4K®) is Iowa’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) licensed Child Care Centers and preschools, registered Child Development Homes and programs operating under an accredited school district or nonpublic school. IQ4K® has five levels of quality improvement and with each level, your quality rating will go up. Quality ratings are available for the public to see and use as a resource when choosing child care.  Participation in IQ4K® not only improves quality, but also gives programs the opportunity to earn bonuses for future growth opportunities.

IQ4K - Iowa CCR&R (

IQ4K Centers

IQ4K Homes


Search a listing of all licensed child care centers and homes to view their annual compliance evaluations and any complaint reports that have been filed.


If you have concerns regarding a specific child care provider or child care business that is not meeting Iowa regulations, please contact the Iowa Child Care Complaint Hotline.

If you suspect a child under the age of 18 is being abused or neglected