What is Quality Start San Bernardino?
Quality Start San Bernardino (QSSB), launched in early October of last year, and serves as the county’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS).
How does this benefit children, parents, and caregivers?
As research shows, high quality early learning between birth and age five plays a major role in a child’s brain development.
Children with high quality experiences:
- Have better critical thinking skills
- Cooperate and engage better with others
- Do better in reading and math
- Are more likely to graduate from high school and attend a four-year college
QSSB educates parents and caregivers about the importance of high quality child care and what a high quality environment looks like. QSSB also provides tools and resources to help parents find and select a quality early learning program that’s right for their child.
What is new?
120 sites, both family child care homes and child care centers, to be selected to participate in QSSB. After almost two years of brainstorming meetings and planning sessions, everyone involved is excited to get started.
“We want child care providers to feel empowered by this opportunity. Each one has made the initial commitment to increasing their quality by simply enrolling in the program. We want each one to feel equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools they need to grow, to share with their parents, and to feel a sense of pride by participating in QSSB,” said Megan Sack, CCRC’s Media and Communications Specialist.
Child care providers will gain an understanding of their current level of quality based on statewide QRIS standards and will receive coaching based on their individual quality improvement plan. They will have access to many professional development opportunities and peer support networks, and will be given the tools to share their involvement in QSSB with parents and the public.
Providers who choose to participate in Quality Start San Bernardino County will be evaluated within these defined areas:
- Teacher-to-child ratios – More teachers per child mean staff can spend one-on-one time engaging with children.
- Learning activities – High quality learning activities support each child’s interests and development, as well as culture and home language.
- Environment – High quality learning environments are safe, healthy, and engaging, and promote effective teacher and child interactions.
- Health and child development – Children’s overall well-being, including physical, social and emotional development, is supported.
- Staff training and education – Program administrators and teachers are trained in child development and early learning. They have completed relevant college coursework and/or ongoing professional training.
Christina Aranda, CCRC’s Resource & Referral Manager adds, “This program will help providers better their early learning program. It shows their current, and potential, child care families that they’ve committed themselves to quality and growing their skills and abilities. It is an investment in the development of the children in their care.”
QSSB is funded by First 5 San Bernardino and led by a consortium of organizations including San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, Child Care Resource Center, and California State University, San Bernardino. Each partner plays an integral role in Quality Start’s design, development, implementation and evaluation.
Learn more about this exciting new effort.