Programs and providers in Michigan monitored at a national level or at a state level beyond licensing are considered Alternate Path programs within Great Start to Quality. The programs and providers Great Start to Quality identifies as Alternate Path programs are:
- Great Start Readiness Programs
- Early Head Start
- Head Start
- Programs accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children
Alternate Path programs participating in the rating process may have the option of using a Great Start to Quality Approved Rater if they reach the on-site assessment step of the rating process.
In order to be a Great Start to Quality Approved Rater you must have all of the following:
- Appropriate training through HighScope in the Program Quality Assessment (Preschool, Infant-Toddler, Family Child Care).
- Certification from HighScope as a Reliable Program Quality Assessment (PQA) Assessor (annually for the first two years and every two years thereafter).
- Not have supervisory responsibility for the program, classroom or staff that is being assessed (i.e. Director).
- Be free of conflict of interest according to a list of criteria.
- Complete the Great Start to Quality Approved Rater Certification Process, which includes an orientation webinar and follow-up questionnaire. The questionnaire follows the webinar session.
After all documentation and verification is received and completed, Approved Raters will receive a certificate via email that designates them as an Approved Rater for the appropriate Program Quality Assessment. The Approved Rater will then be ready to complete the appropriate Program Quality Assessment for Great Start to Quality.