To QualityTM

The Indiana Accreditation Project provides financial and technical assistance for early care and education and school age facilities wishing to initiate, complete and maintain Path to QUALITYTM Level 4 and national accreditation.


Paths to QUALITY™ is a free resource to help parents make decisions regarding childcare and to help childcare programs improve the quality of care offered.

Paths to QUALITY™ is Indiana’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system for childcare. This system is the first and only childcare rating system in the state!

When choosing childcare, search for programs that voluntarily participate in Paths to QUALITY™. These special programs demonstrate a commitment to providing high quality care for children. Paths to QUALITY™ eligible programs include licensed childcare centers, licensed family childcare homes, and unlicensed registered ministries who have met voluntary certification standards.

Better childcare. Brighter futures for Indiana!

Paths to QUALITY™ or PTQ encourages early care and education professionals to enhance their business by providing knowledge, training, and guidance in providing higher quality care.

It identifies four levels of high-quality care and establishes the requirements to meet those levels

It provides incentives to advance to the next level of care

It provides coaches to help walk you through the process

It provides a referral system that helps parents locate participating Paths to QUALITY™ providers like you

Best of all, Paths to QUALITY™ is a free resource, and it’s easy to do! You can participate using our easy, self-guided workbook or a Paths to QUALITY™ Coach can walk you through the process. Once you’re in, you can use the available Toolkit for materials to help promote your business.

Quality experiences that promote children’s healthy growth and development are provided at each level of Paths to QUALITY™. As early care and education professionals move from one level to the next, these opportunities increase.

Starting with meeting basic health and safety needs at Level One and topping out with national accreditation at Level Four, each quality level is tailored to suit the needs of licensed centers, family childcare homes, unlicensed registered ministries, and public schools. The system awards professionals for ongoing efforts to achieve higher standards of quality.

Level 1 – Health and Safety
Level 1 programs have demonstrated that they are operating in good standing and have been recognized by the state of Indiana as having met all required health and safety standards.

Level 2 – Learning Environments
Level 2 programs have demonstrated a commitment to improve program quality. They offer opportunities for children to advance their growth and development. Level 2 programs will have evidence of a consistent daily schedule, planned activities for children, and will provide relevant program information for families.

Level 3 – Planned Curriculum
Level 3 programs have demonstrated the knowledge and skill necessary for planning appropriate activities and opportunities that lead children toward school readiness.
Level 3 programs have made a significant investment in the professional development of the staff, and they incorporate family and staff input into the program.

Level 4 – National Accreditation
Level 4 programs are the highest rated programs and have demonstrated a commitment to the highest level of professionalism in high quality child care—achievement of a nationally recognized accreditation. Level 4 programs are managed by a provider or director who has volunteered to provide mentoring to others in the field.


With funding provided by the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning through the federal Child Care Development Fund, the Indiana Accreditation Project is able to provide accreditation coaching in conjunction with the state’s early care and education quality rating and improvement system, Paths to QUALITY™, also known as PTQ.

Our PTQ Coaches have been employed as teachers, directors, lead caregivers, and even college or university professors.

Our PTQ Coaches believe in higher education and the most recent research. All of our PTQ Coaches have a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field. Many have or are working towards a master’s degree or Doctorate in the field.

Serving nearly 1,000 early care and education facilities in Indiana, including centers, homes, schools, and ministries, our PTQ Coaches are respectful of each professional, facility type, and are dedicated to the highest level of quality for all Indiana’s young children.

Our PTQ Coaches live and work in the communities around them, so they can truly understand the early care and education landscape of those professionals they coach. As advocates and experts, our PTQ Coaches are embedded in coalitions, community assessments, Indiana AEYC chapters, and higher education conversations.

PTQ Coaches can provide a myriad of technical assistance and training services to early care and education professionals. While each Indiana AEYC PTQ Coach comes with their own experience and specialties, they can assist in the assessment of PTQ and national accreditation readiness, conduct classroom observations, provide modeling sessions for administration and teachers in best practices, jointly plan goals and create action plans to achieve them, and so much more.

For a complete list of services, please click the link below and review the Indiana Accreditation Project Menu of Services:

Indiana Accreditation Project Menu of Services

An early care and education professional or facility interested in seeking Paths to QUALITY™ Level 4 and national accreditation must:

  • Review all eligibility requirements to ensure compliance for their facility;
  • Complete the appropriate Indiana Accreditation Project Application for Paths to QUALITY Level 4 Coaching
  • Secure a signature and date for the Certification of Statements and Assurances on page 3 of the application. This page must be signed by one of the following:
  • Owner of the program, or
  • Person associated with the program or sponsoring entity that can enter into a state contract. This may include a regional manager, board president, or program administrator.

Once the completed application is received, it will be processed within 30 calendar days and receive one of three responses:

  • Approved – An Indiana AEYC PTQ Coach is assigned
  • Pending – Further information is needed to complete the process or the applying facility is not in good standing with PTQ.
  • Denied – The applying facility is not currently enrolled in PTQ.

The applying facility will be contacted via USPS and email regarding the decision within 30 days of receiving the application.

Once completed and signed, the application can be mailed via USPS or another carrier of your choice, faxed, or emailed using the information below.

Please note that some applications or materials may include personal information and by transmitting this information over fax or email the professional doing so is liable for any fraudulent activities that result from the transmission process.

Mail to:

2955 N. Meridian St. Suite 120
Indianapolis, IN 46208


Fax to:
317.259.9489 Attn: IAP


Scan and email to:

If you have any further questions, please contact a Paths to QUALITY™ Coach or the Accreditation Project at 855.484.2392 or 317.356.6884.

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