Bright & Early ND Programs



Bright & Early ND is North Dakota’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). A QRIS is a systematic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early childhood programs. Bright & Early ND was developed to help early childhood programs offer high-quality care that supports each child's learning and development.

Bright & Early ND is designed to:

  • Ensure that all children have high-quality early experiences that help them develop the skills they need to be successful in school, work, and life.
  • Support early childhood professionals to provide high-quality care by offering resources such as professional development opportunities, coaching, and financial supports.
  • Help families find high-quality early childhood programs that fit their needs by providing information about program quality.

Health & Human Services (HHS) administers Bright & Early ND as a key strategy for quality improvement under North Dakota law (NDCC 50-11.1).

Bright & Early ND Framework

Bright & Early ND uses a block system approach which includes four levels, or steps, to quality. Each step focuses on a component of quality care and must be demonstrated by the program before moving to the next step. The outcome is a program that maximizes a child’s readiness for school, work, and life.


Getting Started

Meeting and maintaining child care licensing regulations is the foundation of Bright & Early ND. These regulations are designed to protect and promote child safety and well-being in all types of settings.

All programs who hold a current license issued by Health & Human Services (HHS) are automatically welcomed into Bright & Early ND as a Step 1 Quality Rated program. If you are ready to continue your quality improvement journey, learn more about the process below.


Questions? Contact Us

Early Childhood Section
600 E. Boulevard Avenue, Dept. 325
Bismarck, ND 58505-0250

Phone: (701) 328-2115
Toll-Free: (800) 997-8516
Relay ND TTY: 711