Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies
County Program Profile: Santa Barbara
Time Period: 2018–2019
QRIS :: Quality Counts Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara County’s voluntary Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), known as Quality Counts, serves diverse types of child development programs in Santa Barbara County and is administered by First 5 Santa Barbara County. Since 2012, more than 120 QRIS sites have been rated and received support to improve quality. Quality Counts has five levels and measures several elements of program quality, including (1) Child Development and School Readiness, (2) Teachers and Teaching, and (3) Program and Environment. Santa Barbara County’s fifth tier also requires that participating sites be nationally accredited. Thirty-nine percent of family child homes participating are accredited National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC) providers, and 70 percent of participating centers are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Programs are eligible to receive technical assistance, specialized coaching in QRIS elements and accreditation, and annual quality grants to support quality improvements and workforce development.
County Contact Information
- Incentive Layer
- IT QRIS
- Local First 5 funding
- Santa Barbara County
- Education Office
- Children’s Resource & Referral of Santa Barbara County
- First 5 Santa Barbara
Process to Outreach/Onboard Programs and Providers
The foundational Quality Counts Santa Barbara (QCSB) Plan (developed by the local consortium) establishes QRIS participation limits according to the levels of funding available to sustain the investments in quality supports that the plan includes. Due to QCSB being built on a 20+-year history of local investments in standards-driven, research-based quality improvement, our Title 5, Head Start, and substantial numbers of Title 22 and family child care sites were ready to participate as QCSB Step 3 sites in years 1–2. For this reason little growth potential has been identified or realized in years 3–5. We do respond to inquiries from the field and Local Planning Council and consortium requests to engage new sites as opportunities emerge, but their engagement is limited to onboarding into the local Accreditation Facilitation Project as a pathway into future QCSB/QRIS, as limited funds prevent full onboarding into QCSB.
Quality Improvement Program Support Strategies
The Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO) subcontracts to the local resource and referral agency (R&R), Children’s Resource and Referral (CRR), on a substantial quality improvement scope of work and deliverables that focus on supports to family child care homes (FCCHs). This work includes delivery of trainings aligned to the QCC Rating Matrix and CQI Pathways elements; site-based individualized support (coaching) to Quality Counts Santa Barbara (QCSB)–participating FCCHs (numbering 50, over one-third of the total QCSB site portfolio); and administration of quality improvement grants and their aligned California Quality Improvement Plans (QIPs) with these FCCHs. SBCEO performs all the same work for center-based QCSB sites: coaching by contractor (1.5 FTE); coordination of training events; coordination of site-based and other in-depth professional development for center-based workforce; administration of site quality improvement grants; and management of the QCSB database to inform all of these efforts and advance sites on a data-driven continuum.
Local Approach to Offering Financial Incentives and Stipends
AB 212 has been at the foundation of the local stipend program for many years. Only in the past year has First 5 IMPACT been leveraged to improve both scope (reach) and effect (amount). This adaptation was made based on the fixed and inadequate resources associated with local AB 212 resources, and the increasing pool of qualified workforce, which diluted the incentives themselves. Last year and this year, the local consortium has committed to leverage other QCC-aligned resources for financial incentives so that, at minimum, a wider field (greater number) of qualified teachers receive incentives.
Also, we are committed to enhancing the amounts for certain categories (for longevity; bachelor’s degree attainment; and in-depth professional development like CSEFEL, DLL, and MMCI) and have determined this to be first-use priority of identified unspent funds, especially Incentive Layer and F5-IMPACT, as we close out the five-year plan. We aspire to add unsubsidized Title 22 center-based program staff for a special workforce incentive, fund permitting, as a second priority for these funds.
Additionally, the QCC Block Grant is supporting two financial incentive packages that were added to the local portfolio during the past year: infant/toddler incentives for family child care providers that are rated at high tiers (4–5) and stipends for local quality improvement specialists who complete CSEFEL apprenticeships as trainers and/or coaches and for family child care providers that complete CSEFEL modules developed and implemented in collaboration with WestEd and San Luis Obispo County as part of the IELCCP (“EYE-CUP”) grant plan activities.
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 Counts Santa Barbara helped me to improve in my work with preschool children. I learn new effective ways and get different ideas and activities to work with children and do better in my work with them. Attending and learning from these workshops has helped me to better meet the needs of the students in my care. Thank you for all the support and for all the workshops, and support by coaching at our site. This program provides for us to learn and grow as professionals, and have a larger sense of the importance of our work.Teacher, State-Funded Preschool Operated by LEA