Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies
County Program Profile: Los Angeles
Time Period: 2019–2020
QRIS :: Quality Start Los Angeles
Quality Start Los Angeles (QSLA) is a voluntary Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for early learning providers in Los Angeles County. QSLA aims to elevate the program quality of participating providers, center-based and family child care, through quality improvement supports, professional development, and classroom financial incentives. Additionally, QSLA informs families with young children birth to age five with information related to identifying quality in early learning environments to help with their decision when selecting an early learning program.
County Contact Information
- QCC Partnership Grant
- IMPACT 2020
- Dual Language Learning Pilot Expansion
- Workforce Pathways
- Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE)
- First 5 LA
- Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles (CCALA)
- The Los Angeles County Office for the Advancement of Early Care and Education (OAECE)
- The Child Care Planning Committee (CCPC)
- Partnerships for Education, Articulation, and Coordination through Higher Education (PEACH)
Process to Outreach/Onboard Programs and Providers
Providers who are interested in voluntarily enrolling in QSLA complete an online application so that their agency/site may be placed on the QSLA waitlist. The online application is found on the QSLA website at https://qualitystartla.org/applyforqsla/. The online portal is used to track interest and to notify eligible providers when there is an open enrollment period based on funding. Currently, there is a waitlist of 71 providers seeking to enroll in QSLA. Some eligibility criteria that QSLA uses to enroll providers include local planning council high-priority areas, providers referred by CDE consultants, and whether the provider is in one of the First 5 LA Best Start Communities. Outreach strategies include emailing existing CSPP agencies so that they can enroll non-participating sites, posting on QSLA’s social media platforms, and recruiting with the help of Resource and Referral agencies.
Quality Improvement Program Support Strategies
QSLA has redesigned its quality improvement coaching model that includes three quality improvement models: 1) Fundamental model is for providers who have never participated in a QRIS or QI before, 2) Focused model is for existing providers who are non-CSPP centers and family child care homes where the focus is on improving adult-child interactions, and 3) Comprehensive model is designed for CSPP sites who are assessed and rated on all rating matrix elements. A Program Coach works with the lead teachers to co-create and implement individualized Quality Improvement Plans (QIPs) focused on data that may include the Environment Rating Scale (ERS), Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), and Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP). QSLA providers develop a QIP to improve or maintain program quality as defined in the Quality Continuum Framework (QCF). The QSLA coaching model includes classroom observations, coaching, modeling, and onsite training. Program coaching focuses on the broad work of quality improvement, including setting the conditions for change in order to create a supportive, structured, and engaging classroom environment. The design of the model intends for sites to receive up to two hours of program coaching monthly per classroom. Each Program Coach carries a caseload of between 25 and 30 classrooms.
Local Approach to Offering Financial Incentives and Stipends
The QSLA incentive model includes participation stipends for newly enrolled sites along with a Welcome Kit that includes talking points, tips for posting on social media, and QSLA branded merchandise for teachers and directors. Incentive amounts vary by a provider’s tier rating and by their enrolled QI model. Comprehensive newer providers, they receive a participation stipend of $2,000 upon enrollment into QSLA and annual incentives thereafter. Incentives are based on the tier rating attained after a full matrix assessment. CSPP providers with Tiers 1–3 receive a Quality Improvement Grant: Tier 1 at $1,000; Tier 2 at $2,000; and Tier 3 at $4,000. CSPP providers who earn a Tier 4–5 receive a Quality Achievement Award: Tier 4 at $6,000 and Tier 5 at $8,000. For providers in the Focused model, annual incentive amounts are based on providers’ current QCC Matrix rating until it expires following the new three- and five-year assessment cycles. Thereafter, the annual incentive will be based solely on CLASS observation scores. Centers that score from 1 to 3 on CLASS receive $2,000 and FCCs receive $1,000. Centers with a score of 4 receive $3,000 and FCCs receive $2,000. Centers scoring 5 points on the CLASS observation receive $5,000 and FCCs with a 5 score receive $4,000.
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 learned new strategies and information regarding family engagement, parent involvement, parent education, and parent events that we can implement at the site level.” — QSLA Provider
“The training was very useful in helping understand how to separate the problem from the actual person and work collaboratively with the community I serve.” — QSLA Provider
“I’m able to implement new practices and policies for staff development, which in turn will benefit the families.” — QSLA ProviderCenter Director
There are several videos on the QSLA website highlighting providers’ testimonies on their participation in QSLA. Impact videos are found at http://qualitystartla.org/quality-start-la-stories/