Licensed child care programs throughout Contra Costa County are invited to join Quality Matters, our quality rating and improvement system which supports and incentivizes child care programs to offer the best early care and education possible. Public and private centers and family child care programs can apply.
Quality Matters rates programs every two years on their level of quality on elements including teacher-child interactions, environment, teacher training and qualifications, use of recommended child assessments, and ratio and class size (centers only). Throughout the process, programs receive training, personalized coaching, and participation grants between $2,000 to $10,000 to prepare for their rating and improve quality. This comprehensive support really works.
Benu Chhabra is a family child care provider in Concord who’s been providing care in her home for twenty years. In 2014, she earned a “2”, a score indicating she was approaching quality standards but not yet meeting them. While she had high scores for teacher-child interactions, she was not using recommended tools to track children’s development and learning.
Chhabra worked with a coach, took classes, and received training on tools to assess children’s developmental progress. Two years later, her rating jumped to a “5”, the highest score available and a score only 6% of California’s 3,200 rated programs have achieved.
“After attending each workshop and working with my coach, I felt more confident,” said Chhabra. “And with the assessment tools, I’m now better able to understand each child, offer activities to help them progress to the next level, and communicate better with their parents.”
Support is also available for child care programs not quite ready for the full rating system. Quality Matters offers an improvement-only track to prepare sites for future ratings. Participants receive help assessing the quality of their sites and developing improvement plans. They also can attend professional development trainings and get textbook loans, tutoring, and financial incentives.
While any licensed child care program serving children birth to age five may apply, priority will go to sites located in lower income communities and those serving infants and toddlers and/or children with special needs.
Click here to learn more and to apply.