Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies
County Program Profile: San Diego
Time Period: 2018–2019
QRIS :: Quality Preschool Initiative (QPI)
San Diego’s Quality Preschool Initiative (QPI) is a systemic approach to assessing, improving, and communicating the level of quality in early care and education programs. QPI has engaged over 300 early learning sites representing a variety of program types in its Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), including center-based preschools and infant/toddler programs as well as family child care homes. All early care and education providers are eligible to receive a rating and related technical assistance for quality improvement, and some participating programs may also be eligible to receive subsidized coaching, professional development, and/or quality incentives. QPI is funded by First 5 San Diego, the California Department of Education, and First 5 California, and is implemented by the San Diego County Office of Education and the YMCA Childcare Resource Service.
County Contact Information
- First 5 San Diego
- California Department of Education
- First 5 California
- San Diego County Office of Education
- First 5 San Diego Funder
- YMCA Childcare Resource Service Resource and Referral Agency Contract and Advisory
- San Diego Local Child Care and Development Planning Council
- Brandman University
- UCSD School of Medicine
- Center for Community Health
- County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency
- San Diego County
- Breastfeeding Coalition
- American Academy of Pediatrics – CA Chapter 3
Process to Outreach/Onboard Programs and Providers
San Diego has worked diligently to streamline its outreach and recruitment process. In partnership with the YMCA CRS, our local resource and referral agency (R&R), we have established a four-step process. The first step is to identify dates to facilitate QRIS information meetings, known as Quality Journey Orientations. In 2018–2019, nine outreach events were coordinated between August and May, with sessions in English and Spanish. These meetings are intended to inform and orient the public about the QRIS efforts in the county and recruit new providers to engage in any aspect of QRIS. The second step includes promoting and publicizing the event through our SDQPI.org website and through various listservs that include Head Start/Early Head Start directors, California Department of Education’s Early Learning and Care Division, contractors, QCC, QPI First 5 Program Directors, YMCA R&R, YMCA Foster Bridge, and the YMCA Child Care Initiative Project (CCIP). After attending an orientation session, providers are encouraged to complete an interest form to request a one-on-one consultation. Next, a QRIS specialist, with San Diego County Office of Education or YMCA, contacts the interested provider to set up a date to learn about their program and identify if they are eligible to engage through one of the various local grant initiatives (e.g., First 5 San Diego QPI, California State Preschool Program, or Quality Counts California Quality Block Grant). At the fourth step, if they are eligible and are ready to engage in QRIS, we recruit them by November/December to initiate services and participation.
Quality Improvement Program Support Strategies
San Diego’s Consortium has developed a strong support system for teachers and administrators to increase the quality of their programs through participation in San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative. An essential component of the quality improvement effort is the employment of early learning specialists who provide coaching to site directors and lead teachers. San Diego can deliver robust coaching and training because the San Diego County Office of Education aligns all resources supporting rating and improvement efforts funded by First 5 San Diego, First 5 California, the California Department of Education, and local grants. Coaches help each site director and/or teacher develop a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP), which guides coaching. At all First 5 San Diego–funded QIP sites, coaches provide site directors and lead teachers with an additional 15 hours of coaching every year. The coaching team conducts professional learning sessions and workshops, shares resources and materials, and provides technical assistance to help each site reach its goals. Sites that choose to participate in the California State Preschool Program and/or QCC Block Grants, without additional local First 5 San Diego funding, receive coaching to the site director, based on the individual need and goals specified in the QIP.
Local Approach to Offering Financial Incentives and Stipends
San Diego’s Consortium has found value in providing workforce members stipends for their time investments to improve knowledge and classroom practice. Through local First 5 funds, we have been able to offer First 5 Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) preschool teachers and site administrators stipends for engaging in various quality improvement efforts (e.g., completing 15 hours of coaching and 6 hours of professional development). Similarly, through the QCC Quality Block Grant, we have been able to offer a training stipend for completed coursework or long-term training programs. The opportunity to offer incentives to programs in the form of materials and furnishings to improve their settings is also of great benefit to children and to the engagement effort from providers.
How Children Are Served by QCC
Children Served by Setting
Children’s Races and Ethnicities
QCC Tier Rating Distribution
Language Spoken with Children
What began as a simple inquiry into potential partnership with SDCOE to enhance the infant/toddler component of our program through coaching, training, and assistance w/materials has blossomed into an integral part of the quality that our entire program—infant/toddler and preschool alike—represents.Center Director
A Center Director shared: It [training] has given the classroom staff more confidence in their knowledge and reinforced the foundation to this information that they maybe weren’t certain of going into this process. It challenged us as a center to think about what we are providing to the parents and children. While we were doing good enough before, now we are providing even higher quality support to our families.