Quality Improvement

Children who attend high-quality early childhood education programs are more likely to be ready to learn when they enter kindergarten. 

Research shows all children, and particularly children from lower income families, benefit from high-quality early learning programs in which children have meaningful interactions with qualified staff who are culturally and linguistically responsive. 

A critical factor contributing to the quality of an early learning program is the program’s staff. Well-prepared, trained, stable and engaged staff can change a child’s learning trajectory. These earliest teachers in a child’s life can shape their school success for years to come.

Early learning educators who are well prepared:

  • Establish warm relationships with children and respond to their needs and learning interests
  • Support students who live in households where a language other than English is spoken
  • Support students with disabilities or learning differences
  • Are responsive to children’s cultural and family backgrounds
  • Assess each individual’s skills and adapts learning opportunities accordingly

First 5 Contra Costa works in partnership with other organizations in the county on continuous quality improvement of early learning programs. These efforts benefit the early learning educators and the families whose children enroll in their programs.

In coordination with the Contra Costa County Office of Education, First 5 Contra Costa coordinates these three quality improvement programs:

  • The Quality Matters program provides a framework, standards, and learning opportunities for early education sites to continually enhance the quality of their teachers and practice.
  • Through the Professional Development Program individual early childhood educators can receive stipends for college coursework or training in early childhood education. The average stipend earned is a minimum of $500!
  • The Family Child Care Partner Program, offers peer-to-peer coaching and quality supports to Family Child Care providers.