Quality Counts California (QCC) is a statewide effort to strengthen California’s early learning and care system to support young children and their families.
QCC focuses on quality early learning experiences because those experiences build the foundation for skills children need in school, work, and life. (Reference: Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child)
Statewide Collaboration and Structure
QCC is a collaboration between First 5 California, the California Department of Education, and the California Department of Social Services. QCC is comprised of three layers of California’s current quality improvement system:
Local – There are 49 consortia operating within the QCC system across all 58 counties, with several multi-county consortia.
Regional – First 5 IMPACT 2020 funding supports capacity building through a Regional Coordination and Training and Technical Assistance Hub structure, which enables all consortia to benefit from statewide investments.
State – State-level systems development and coordination efforts include:
- Alignment across funding agencies (First 5 California, the California Department of Education, and the California Department of Social Services) and partner agencies (e.g., Head Start, etc.);
- Statewide efforts to provide quality coaching and trainer certification; and
- Uniform data collection practices (e.g., workforce registry and QCC database)
QCC is implemented at the county or regional level through locally operated Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRISs). QCC provides funds and guidance to QRISs, then QRISs work closely with early learning and care providers to support their commitment to quality, improvement and growth.
What a QRIS measures and how development operates can vary from county to county, however each QRIS:
- Rates participating early learning and care programs on how well they meet program standards for quality.
- Makes the ratings available to parents and families to help them choose a program for their child(ren).
- Works with the participating programs to continually improve.
Commitment to Quality Services
Ultimately, QCC is committed to provide resources and information to those who understand the importance of quality early learning and care programs, and the lifelong positive impact they can have on children and families:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about QCC and QRISs