What is Quality Counts California (QCC)?
Quality Counts California (QCC) is a statewide initiative dedicated to supporting and improving the quality of early care and education throughout California. The goal of QCC is to ensure consistent high-quality early care and education experiences for California’s infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children, whether in center-based or home-based programs.
The initiative is a partnership at the state level, by the California Department of Education (CDE), First 5 California (F5CA), and the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), and is implemented at the county or regional level through locally tailored and operated Quality Improvement Systems (QIS) and Quality Rating Improvement Systems (QRIS).
What are Quality Improvement Systems (QIS) and Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS)?
Both types of systems engage early learning and care programs, also known as early care and education programs, in a continuous quality improvement process based on a common set of program quality standards. A QRIS includes quality ratings.
More specifically, per Education Code Section 8203.1 for CSPP QRIS Block Grant, “early learning quality rating and improvement system” or “QRIS” is defined as a locally determined system for continuous quality improvement based on a tiered rating structure with progressively higher quality standards for each tier that provides supports and incentives for programs, teachers, and administrators to reach higher levels of quality, monitors and evaluates the impacts on child outcomes, and disseminates information to parents and the public about program quality.
QCC includes both a QIS and a QRIS, as ratings are required for CSPP. The quality elements measured by QCC ratings comprise the continuous quality improvement framework for all QCC-participating programs.
What is the California State Preschool Program Quality Rating and Improvement System Block Grant (CSPP QRIS BG) and how does it relate to QCC?
Administered by the CDE, the California State Preschool Program (CSPP) Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Block Grant (BG) awards site QRIS block grants at quality rating Tiers 4 and 5 to address the additional costs associated with reaching and maintaining high levels of quality. At Tier 3, the CSPP Block Grant can provide training and technical assistance (T&TA) support to help programs improve their quality and tier rating.
The CSPP QRIS BG is supported annually by $50 million in state education funds (Prop 98 general funds, which by law are required to be administered by a local education agency) for the support of local CSPPs that increase the number of low-income children in high-quality state preschool programs that prepare those children for success in school and life.
The CSPP QRIS BG is part of the State of California quality system – Quality Counts California (QCC). The funds are used to support local counties in maintaining and improving CSPP classroom quality under the QCC system.
What is the IMPACT Legacy grant and how does it relate to QCC?
The purpose of IMPACT Legacy, which is administered by F5CA, is to expand access to the QCC system and resources for center and home-based early learning and care (ELC) educators serving high-need communities and populations not already receiving quality support. Objectives towards fulfilling the purpose of IMPACT Legacy include understanding and eliminating barriers to participation and prioritizing children’s well-being, workforce engagement and well-being, family engagement, and multilingual learners (MLL).
IMPACT funds local counties in quality improvement support as well as regional training and technical assistance hubs to provide collaboration across counties, reduce duplication of services, and ensure quality data collection and reporting.
What are the CDSS QCC Block Grant and the CDSS QCC Workforce Pathways Grant, and how do they relate to QCC?
The QCC Block Grant is administered by CDSS through Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) funding. It allocates $12,800,000 for QCC consortia and the tribal region to support local early learning and care programs serving children from birth to five and to increase the number of low-income children in high-quality early learning and care settings. The goal of this grant is to increase quality across the continuum of ELC settings ranging from family, friend and neighbor (FFN) to licensed family homes and centers. For questions about the QCC Block Grant please email [email protected].
The QCC Workforce Pathways Grant is administered by CDSS through CCDF funding and provides a total of $12,281,316 to local, regional, or local and regional quality improvement partnerships, consistent with the QCC local consortia, to expand the number of qualified ELC professionals and increase the educational credentials of existing ELC professionals across the state. For more information about the QCC Workforce Pathways Grant please email [email protected].
These grants are available to local consortia and multi-county consortia that applied for funding by submitting a QCC Quality Improvement and Workforce Development Plan. These grants are also available to the Tribal Child Care Association of California (TCCAC). These funds are used to respond to the critical shortage of highly skilled early educators and providers.
How does an early care and education program engage in continuous quality improvement?
Data-informed continuous quality improvement is planned by evaluating the program’s quality utilizing the Quality Continuum Framework: Measured Quality Elements. This allows programs to collect and report data on specific quality elements that improve teacher/child interactions and support child outcomes.
I am an early care and education provider. How can I sign up to participate in QCC?
Your local QCC Lead Agency can provide more information about local quality improvement efforts in the early care and education system, including the onboarding process and upcoming professional learning opportunities. Find your local QCC.
I operate a family child care home. How can I get involved with QCC?
Your local QCC Lead Agency can provide more information about joining QCC, including the onboarding process and upcoming professional learning opportunities. Find your local QCC.
How do I find information on professional development and training opportunities?
Visit the Learning Opportunities page of the QCC website for information on professional learning resources.