The State of Iowa has written Iowa Early Learning Standards (IELS) for children ages birth to five years. These standards fulfill a requirement of the federal government. Standards are "statements that describe expectations for the learning and development of young children" (Early Childhood Education Assessment Consortium, 2003).
Iowa's QPPS were developed as a beginning point for cc programs to engage in of a continuum of to implement quality standards for early childhood programs to work toward accreditation with NAEYC program standards and criteria. The QPPS were designed to be used with programs having funding linked to the Iowa Department of Education including those operated by local school districts: Early Childhood Special Education, Title I, and district operated preschools and childcare centers. In addition, community based early childhood programs were considered necessary to be included in this pool of programs since preschoolers with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) need to receive special education services in the least restrictive environment (setting with typical peers).
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age 8. NAEYC is committed to becoming an increasingly high performing and inclusive organization.