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Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies
County Program Profile: Monterey
Time Period: 2019–2020
QRIS :: Quality Matters Monterey County
Quality Matters Monterey County is an initiative designed to support family child care home providers and preschools to provide the highest quality early learning experiences for children birth through age 5. The Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) is built to empower educators, parents, and community members—all with the goal of setting children up for success. Quality Matters is a collaborative effort of early learning partners throughout the community, including First 5 Monterey County; the Monterey County Office of Education; and the Monterey County Child Care Planning Council. Quality Matters is operated by the Monterey County Office of Education. Over the past eight months, 45 sites have developed Quality Improvement Plans with support from technical assistance coaches.
Quality Matters uses a five-star rating system to guide early educators and parents, so they know where programs are on their journey to excellence in quality. When programs sign up to be part of Quality Matters, they are visited by an independent observer who is trained and certified in rating sites. The observer measures programs using California standards of quality. Child care centers are measured in seven areas. Family child care homes are measured in five areas. Programs are then awarded a star rating for their continuous improvement. Quality Matters rates early learning programs in the following areas:
- Child Observation
- Teacher-to-Child Ratios*
- Positive Teacher-Child Interactions
- Health and Child Development
- Staff Training and Education
- Director Qualifications*
*Family child care homes are not measured in these areas.
No matter what their star rating, every Quality Matters Monterey County participant is committed to quality. Quality Matters supports continuous growth so programs can meet the individual needs of the children in their care. Participants receive training and professional development from Quality Matters in the areas they prioritize for improvement.
County Contact Information
- First 5 IMPACT
- Infant and Toddler Block Grant
- Caryn Lewis, County Office of Education
- Francine Rodd, First 5 Monterey County
- Shannan Watkins, Monterey County Child Care Planning Council
- Maria Ortiz, R&R
- Gabriela Jara
- Angie Ramirez
- Josefina Silva
- Noemy Loveless
- Deanna Granados-Perez, CA. State University Monterey Bay
- Carol Karian, Monterey Peninsula College
Process to Outreach/Onboard Programs and Providers
Quality Matters, since inception of implementing the QRIS in Monterey County, engaged with the providers to participate in quality improvement/QRIS, which began as a grassroots effort. We began with recruiting an experienced and local family child care home provider to become a part-time coach. She has influenced many of the early childhood community educators with her first-hand provider experience. With local word-of-mouth communication, in addition to the Quality Matters website, flyers, bilingual brochures, and informational evening/Saturday workshops, the family child care home providers have grown to understand the importance of the QRIS. We created a time frame for participants to understand the participation pathway. See the participation timeline at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vY4Bgq6r_is664UYvKH-yKsyFhGCjzRb/view?usp=sharing
Also, we partner with the Monterey County M.A.O.F. Resource and Referral Manager who has over 20 years of experience in working with the early learning and care community and supports many family child care providers to obtain their family child care license through the California Child Care Initiative Project (CCIP). We meet regularly in our Technical Assistance Coach Team Meeting and Communication & Outreach Task Group to reflect on meeting the needs of providers for continuous engagement. Quality Matters continues to develop a process for increasing public awareness and making rating data available to parents. Strategies for raising awareness and communicating rating information may include meetings, web-based information, and informational materials and resources, including brochures, newsletters, videos, and posters. To view the Quality Matters video visit: https://youtu.be/rWgWpL0ZQ04
Quality Improvement Program Support Strategies
Quality Matters utilizes the Quality Counts California Framework’s Continuous Quality Improvement Pathways Common Tools and Resources as the roadmap for the training and technical assistance support strategies. Support strategies are guided to align in an intentional approach to quality improvement. Annually, we offer the CORE QRIS tools trainings, for the new incoming sites, in ERS, CLASS, ASQ, and DRDP, as well as Practice-Based Coaching to support educators in reflecting on the continuous improvement process. This process supports teachers’ use of effective teaching practices that lead to positive outcomes for children.
Another strategy used to support coaching is the Loose Parts Design Framework through a Coaching Cadre to maintain the momentum for programs who engaged in 2018–2019’s Loose Parts workshops. Most importantly, we infuse reflective thinking, which is an essential practice to share new knowledge and learn from other perspectives to question, to analyze, to challenge, and to observe. Technical assistance is provided in multiple forms according to the needs of each program. In partnership with the Head Start program and school district state preschool programs, we are able to come together to improve professional development practices, for example, by offering monthly coaching, professional learning community (PLC) gatherings, professional development training, and a leadership network.
Local Approach to Offering Financial Incentives and Stipends
The Consortium continues to provide the following incentives and stipends: materials (Spanish/English books, motor and sensory toys, etc.), specialized training (inclusion, dual language learners, language development), certificate of recognition at the end of their QRIS/quality improvement (QI) pathway, early math kits to promote math, which is integrated into everyday experiences, and Loose Parts materials to foster equity play. All QRIS sites that receive a 3-star rating will earn $2,000, 4-star sites will earn $3,000, and 5-star sites will earn $4,000. Plus, each site receives $1,200 for completing the QRIS Pathway; all QI sites will earn $1,000 for completing their QI Pathway.
How Children Are Served by QCC
Children Served by Setting
Overall Child Characteristics and Services Provided
Children’s Races and Ethnicities
QCC Tier Rating Distribution
Language Spoken with Children
Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) Goals
I could do it! I could do it! And I did it!Family Child Care Provider
Quality Matters shared: A video from a family child care provider who shared her story on the impact of how the technical assistance coaching helped her become a better family child care home provider and improved her family child care home environment setting—as she refers to it as her “escuelita” meaning little school in Spanish—at the Quality Matters 3rd Annual Recognition Event. Below we have captured some highlights from the video, which have been translated from Spanish to English. Quality Matters has raised my self-esteem. If it wasn’t for them, I would not be here right now. Many of you knew me before on how timid I was. Right now, I have the courage and self-esteem that I don’t know how to tell you. I wish you could have seen my house when I started. Now, I am proud to see my little school, and more than anything see myself, and the families that are with me. The children know I came here today to graduate. Thank you to Quality Matters and the coaches for never leaving me. They continued to tell me, “I could do it! I could do it! And I did it!” by Quality Matters FCCHEN, October 5, 2019.
Learn more from the videos below.
Also, view the Quality Matters video of parents and educators Quality Matters (QRIS/QI experience) by visiting: