Key Indicators 


The purpose of a licensing indicator system is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of an existing licensing system by refocusing the emphasis of the licensing process. It is intended to complement, and not replace, an existing licensing measurement system.

Key Indicator Systems (KIS) identify a subset of regulations from an existing set of regulations that statistically predict compliance with the entire set of regulations.

Key Indicator Resources

Studies and Projects

Key Indicator Studies

  • Oregon, 2013 - This study provided Oregon's OCC with a basic risk factor analysis comparing its child care center rules to Stepping Stones (SS) standards. Read the full study.
  • Georgia, 2014 - Validation of Georgia's process for determining if state-regulated child care facilities are compliant with basic state health and safety requirements. Read the full study.
  • Colorado, 2014 - This study analyzed Colorado's quality rating system, the Qualistar Rating, for generating key indicators. Read the full study.

Key Indicator Projects 

  • Washington, 2011 - This project provided Washington's Department of Early Learning a differential monitoring process to ensure efficiency while keeping children in licensed safe care. Read the full study.
  • Kansas, 2012 - 2013 
    Focus: Develop a Key Indicator System
    Project Activities: Data Capacity Building and Analysis; Policy Development; Stakeholder Meetings. Read the full report.
  • Head Start, 2013 - This project provided the Office of Head Start (OHS) Key Indicators for their Head Start Performance Standards. Read the full study.
  • Illinois, 2013 - 2014
    Focus: Development of a Weighted Licensing and Key Indicator System
    Project Activities: Determination of Eligibility Criteria; Data Collection & Analysis; Identification of Additional Factors; Development of Indicator Work Tools & Instructional Manual; Staff Training; Stakeholder Meetings. Read the full report.
  • Ontario, 2015 - This project outlined recommended methodology for developing an abbreviated inspection tool; a tiered licensing approach to child care licensing. Read the full report. Read the press release.
  • Michigan, 2016 - 2017
    Focus: Development of Key Indicators for licensed child care and group homes and registered family homes
    Project Activities: Data Collection & Analysis; Policy Development; Work Tools and Instruction Manual; Staff Training; Stakeholder Meetings; Pilot Program; Statewide Implementation
  • Montana, 2016 - 2017
    Focus: Development of Key Indicators for Department of Public Health and Human Services
    Project Activities: Statistical Analysis; Policy Development; Staff Training; Stakeholder Meetings