Welcome to Bright & Early ND

During the first five years of a child's life, their brain develops faster than at any other time. The experiences a child has during this period have lasting impact, making high-quality early childhood experiences crucial. Research shows that children who have access to these experiences perform better in school, make healthier choices, are more likely to graduate, and find employment.

Bright & Early ND supports our community by empowering early childhood professionals to elevate the quality of care they provide to children from birth to age five. As North Dakota's Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), we help raise the standards of early childhood programs across the state.

We do this by offering tailored support, specialized training, and financial incentives for early childhood professionals. Our goal is to ensure every child in our community receives the foundation they need to thrive in school and in life.

Our collaboration with families is equally important. We provide tools and resources to help families understand the key components of a quality early childhood program, actively engage in their child's early learning journey, and locate an early childhood program that fits your family's needs.

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.


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