Thursday, April 22 to Monday, May 31

Child Care Providers-You have been hit hard during this pandemic and we hear you!  Rating extensions and supports are now available.  Learn more!

Providers & Educators

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Great Start to Quality continues to support programs and providers to maintain and earn new ratings.  Accommodations are being made to align with child care licensing guidelines, and public health guidance, as validations and on-site assessments take place.  This page will be updated as information changes.  Please check back often to learn how Great Start to Quality is making adjustments to better support providers during this challenging time.

Rating Extensions

During the consecutive stay-at-home orders, Great Start to Quality star rating expiration dates were extended for a total of 15 weeks. This accommodation did not stop the work of Great Start to Quality; many programs have continued to become rated over the course of the last several months.  See the section titled The Numbers for more details.


Many adjustments have been made to the validation process to work with programs to determine their specific circumstances and the best way to move forward. These adjustments have allowed many programs to complete the process, even those who were closed.

The most impactful adjustment that has been made supports the annual professional development by removing 2 hours of required professional development, for each month of the stay-at-home order. For example, if the SAS was submitted in May 2020 staff will only need 20 hours of professional development within the last 18 months, not the full 24 hours. This process will continue until January 1, 2022.

Questions about accommodations can be emailed to

On-Site Assessment

Many adjustments have been made to the on-site assessment process to better support program’s needs and maintain safety during observations. As stated on the state of Michigan’s COVID-19 child care FAQ, “GSQ assessment staff have been identified as essential visitors. GSQ assessment visits will resume, with modified procedures in alignment with public health guidance, beginning June 15, 2020.”  

Watch the On-Site Assessment Q&A Webinar recording to learn about the precautions we are taking, the accommodations we are making, and hear answer to common questions. Review Strategies for Maintaining High Quality Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic to get examples of ways programs can continue to provide high quality care while following health and safety guidelines. 

Questions about the process can be emailed to

The Numbers

While many programs and providers were closed during the spring and summer of 2020 due to the pandemic, that did not stop them from successfully demonstrating quality practices desite all of the changes they made in their program.  The numbers from March 15, 2020 through February 28, 2021 shows just how committed programs in Michigan are to providing quality care for the children and families they serve.

GSQ Numbers During COVID

More Resources

Looking for more resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic to support your program? 
Find more information specifically for child care providers