Child care quality is improving in Contra Costa County and we have the ratings to prove it!
Fifty-five licensed child care programs were recently re-rated as participants in Quality Matters, our pilot child care Quality Improvement and Rating System (QRIS), and the results are outstanding:
- 26 sites increased their quality ratings
- 27 sites stayed the same (three of these were already 5’s, the top rating)
- Only two ratings decreased (note that both still meet quality benchmarks)
These programs were first rated in 2014 using quality standards and criteria we developed in partnership with the Contra Costa Child Care Council, Contra Costa County Office of Education and the county’s three community colleges. Sixteen counties in California are piloting child care rating and improvement systems using common criteria and standards.
After their initial rating, QRIS child care programs received two years of intensive coaching, training, incentives and other support to meet improvement goals. The coaching model is one reason so many sites, particularly family child care programs, made such significant improvements in the two-year period.
Scores of three or higher mean that programs have met or exceeded quality benchmarks in areas that have the greatest impact on children’s learning and development, such as staff education and training, child-teacher interactions, and providing safe, enriching environments and age-appropriate instruction.
Benu Chhabra, a Concord family child care provider who’s been providing child care in her home for twenty years, received a 2 rating (approaching quality standards) in 2014. At the time, she had high scores for teacher-child interactions, but was not using tools recommended to track children’s development and learning.
Benu worked with her coach to improve her environment and was trained on the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) developmental screening tool and the DRDP (Desired Results Developmental Profile) to assess children’s learning levels.
In addition, Benu says she attended more than 80 hours of workshops – four times more than the requirement – because she believes learning never ends. Now, two years later, Benu joins five other family child care programs who received a 5, the top rating which is difficult to achieve.
“After attending each workshop, I felt more confident,” said Chhabra. “And with the DRDP and ASQ tools I’m able to make connections with parents and better understand each child and to offer activities to help them progress to the next level. It was also so helpful to talk with my coach and assessor.”
Congratulations to the first cohort of QRIS participants to be re-rated. We know how hard you worked to improve your ratings and to provide young children with high-quality early learning experiences.
Rating reports for each site will be posted here later this summer.