Background There has been a long-standing desire to implement a multi-institutional, multispecialty program to address surgical quality improvement for children. This report documents results of the initial phase of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Pediatric. Study Design From October 2008 to December 2009, patients from 4 pediatric referral centers were sampled using American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program methodology tailored to children. Results A total of 7,287 patients were sampled, representing general/thoracic surgery (n = 2,237; 30.7%), otolaryngology (n = 1,687; 23.2%), orthopaedic surgery (n = 1,367; 18.8%), urology (n = 893; 12.3%), neurosurgery (n = 697; 9.6%), and plastic surgery (n = 406; 5.6%). Overall mortality rate detected was 0.3% and 287 (3.9%) patients had postoperative occurrences. After accounting for demographic, preoperative, and operative factors, occurrences were 4 times more likely in those undergoing inpatient versus outpatient procedures (odds ratio [OR] = 4.71; 95% CI, 3.01-7.35). Other factors associated with higher likelihood of postoperative occurrences included nutritional/immune history, such as preoperative weight loss/chronic steroid use (OR = 1.49; 95% CI, 1.03-2.15), as well as physiologic compromise, such as sepsis/inotrope use before surgery (OR = 1.68; 95% CI, 1.10-1.95). Operative factors associated with occurrences included multiple procedures under the same anesthetic (OR = 1.58; 95% CI, 1.21-2.06) and American Society of Anesthesiologists classification category 4/5 versus 1 (OR = 5.74; 95% CI, 2.94-11.24). Specialty complication rates varied from 1.5% for otolaryngology to 9.0% for neurosurgery (p < 0.001), with specific procedural groupings within each specialty accounting for the majority of complications. Although infectious complications were the predominant outcomes identified across all specialties, distribution of complications varied by specialty. Conclusions Based on this initial phase of development, the highly anticipated American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Pediatric has the potential to identify outcomes of children's surgical care that can be targeted for quality improvement efforts.