What are some elements of quality in early learning and care settings?
A graphic shows a picture of a clipboard with a checklist written on it. The question at the top of the checklist is “What are some elements of quality in early learning and care environments?” Beneath the question is a list of seven elements, each with a box next to it that has been checked off. The seven elements on the checklist are:
1. The program involves families to enrich children’s learning experiences.
2. The program providers have individual time with children.
3. The program is licensed and in good standing.
4. Program staff have professional development and growth opportunities.
5. Program evaluations are conducted for making data-driven decisions for ongoing improvement.
6. Developmental monitoring/screenings are conducted inclusive of families and include follow-up referrals.
7. Program plans and activities are driven by children’s needs and interests.
Participating in Quality Counts California can help early learning and care settings in many ways, from demonstrating a commitment to quality and increasing positive child outcomes, to increasing enrollment, scholarships, and ongoing professional development opportunities.
A graphic shows how Quality Counts California can help early learning programs. A rectangle at the top of the graphic says, “Quality Counts California,” and shows the logo: a picture of five young children, standing in a line, holding hands. A bright sun is shining behind them. An arrow points from this rectangle to a larger rectangle in the middle of the graphic. The large rectangle lists the benefits that Quality Counts California can provide: Resources, Funding awards, Other final supports, Priority in professional development, and Scholarship opportunities. An arrow points from the large rectangle to a circle on the left and a circle on the right. The circle on the left says, “Program A,” and is described as “Registered and rated!” The circle on the right says, “Program B,” and is described as “Not registered but still gets support and free resources.” At the bottom of the graphic there is a picture of a toddler. She appears to be jumping in the air, with both arms above her head and both legs kicking outward. She has a bright smile on her face. Above the toddler, it says, “Positive Child Outcomes.”
Quality Counts California welcomes all!
Quality Counts California provides resources and support for early learning and care providers to connect program standards to positive child outcomes and promote their quality programs. Potential benefits include increased resources, such as grants, awards, and other financial supports, and priority in professional development and scholarship opportunities to support continued growth.
Quality Counts California encourages non-participating programs to join, receive resources and support on the Quality Counts California growth path, and get rated as you become ready. A rating for your program provides individualized feedback for potential areas of growth for your program. Ratings may also include incentives and recognition for the level of quality based on your program’s rating.
Quality Counts California offers professional development to help enhance your work with, and on behalf of, children and their families. These opportunities can help you continue to improve your skills and knowledge as an early learning and care professional.
Resources on quality
California’s Early Learning Foundations, provided by the California Department of Education, Early Learning and Care Division, serves as a guide to various aspects of child development from birth thru age 5. The Foundations provide statewide frameworks on what quality is, what it looks like, and ways to enhance it.
The California Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Foundations provide a framework on how most infants and toddlers progress in the major domains of social-emotional, language, cognitive, and perceptual and motor development.
The California Preschool Learning Foundations provide an outline of key knowledge and skills that most preschool children can achieve in quality early learning and care programs. This resource clarifies the range of knowledge and skills that children can attain in these quality programs.
The Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework provides strategies, professional development, and tools for providers to strengthen engagement with parents, families, and communities.
Find out about the approach of the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s Strengthening Families in a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) to “increase family strengths, enhance child development, and reduce child abuse and neglect.”
Learn more about child care licensing, health and social services, financial assistance, and resources for children with special needs in California from Child Care Aware’s national website.