qris_blog_800x534Licensed child care programs throughout Contra Costa County are invited to join Quality Matters, our quality improvement system which supports and incentivizes child care programs to offer the best early learning experiences possible. Currently, 108 licensed child care programs are participating in the system, and we have room for 30 more.

This year, Quality Matters is expanding in two new ways.

First, any licensed child care program located in Contra Costa County may now apply. While priority for participation will still be sites located in lower income communities and those serving infants and toddlers and/or children with special needs, space may be available for other programs to participate.

Second, there’s a new improvement-only track for participants not yet ready for the full rating system. This track is the Quality Improvement System (QIS) and is designed to prepare sites for future participation in the more rigorous rating system. Participants will receive help assessing the quality of their sites and developing improvement plans. They also will have the opportunity to attend professional development training and receive educational supports such as textbook loans, tutoring and financial incentives, and participation grants.

There are also openings available in the full rating track for Quality Matters, the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). The QRIS track requires more engagement in quality improvement efforts, but the benefits are worth it. Sites receive participation grants between $2,000 to $10,000, personalized coaching to improve program quality, their environment, and teacher-child interactions, and independent ratings every two years to assess the quality of each child care program.

Quality rating and improvement systems are being implemented throughout the United States. California is still playing catch up to more advanced systems, but we’re on our way. This is a great opportunity get in early on a movement of continuous quality improvement that is sweeping the state.

Click here to learn more and to apply.