Building a Stronger Child Care Workforce

20141009_180828First 5 is working to strengthen Contra Costa’s child care workforce by helping providers earn degrees in early childhood education. Last year, we supported 900 child care providers attending the county’s three community colleges by offering textbook loans, tutoring services, assistance for English Language Learners, and access to early childhood academic advisors. Read how this support helped one dedicated West County provider.

Iroda Mamasalieva came to the U.S. from Uzbekistan in 2008. She immediately began taking adult school classes to learn English and to support her family. One year later she entered Contra Costa College and began pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education. 

“I would like to express my deep appreciation to the First 5 Program for its help and support on my career growth and development.

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The Latest on Contra Costa’s Child Care Quality Rating System

QRIS1Our effort to create a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for child care programs in Contra Costa County is moving full speed ahead!

We just began our second year of the project and have 63 licensed child care sites participating, including private and nonprofit child care centers, publicly funded centers like Head Start, and family child care providers.

This means that Contra Costa is getting closer to having a system in place that helps parents easily identify and select high-quality child care programs for their children and that continually improves the quality of child care available.

Here’s how QRIS works: participating child care programs are rated and earn points for various elements of quality, such as teacher-child ratios, teacher qualifications, and teacher-child interactions. Sites receive a cumulative score based on their ratings, which parents can refer to during their child care searches.

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