Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies
County Program Profile: Calaveras
Time Period: 2019–2020
QRIS :: Strong Start Calaveras
Calaveras County’s voluntary Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), known as Strong Start Calaveras, serves early learning programs in Calaveras and is administered by First 5 Calaveras. The consortium is committed to promoting continuous quality improvement in early learning venues throughout the county. Participating sites will identify their key areas of interest in one or more of the following four areas:
- Developmental and Health Screenings
- Social–Emotional Development
- Effective Teacher-Child Interactions
- Family Engagement
County Contact Information
- First 5 Calaveras
- Calaveras County Office of Education
- Columbia College
- Calaveras Child Care Council
- The Resource Connection Resource & Referral Agency
- Prevent Child Abuse Council Calaveras
- The Resource Connection Head Start and Early Head Start Program
- Calaveras Unified School District
- Lilschuz Footsteps Preschool
- Calaveras Public Health
Process to Outreach/Onboard Programs and Providers
Discussions are held during monthly consortia meetings to strategize and target child care sites and alternative settings for recruitment. Also, recruitment of consortia membership is discussed. Outreach to individuals is done in person, by phone, or at trainings and events.
Quality Improvement Program Support Strategies
Strong Start Calaveras has one coach/Director Mentor. She provides one-on-one mentoring through the California Director Mentoring Program to five early childhood professionals. She also hosts two “Early Care and Education Get Togethers” each month, one in the morning and one in the afternoon/evening for early childhood teachers and directors.
Local Approach to Offering Financial Incentives and Stipends
“Incentive Guidelines” are reviewed, adjusted, and approved by consortia members each year based on allocated budget and priorities. These guidelines are provided to each participating agency/site. Incentives during 2018–2019 included stipends for professional growth hours, Early Childhood Education units, attending mentor/coaching sessions, reaching site goals, increasing rating scores, and initial enrollment in Strong Start Calaveras.
How Children Are Served by QCC
Children Served by Setting
Overall Child Characteristics and Services Provided
Children’s Races and Ethnicities
QCC Tier Rating Distribution
Language Spoken with Children
Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) Goals
Our program has been grateful for the ability to participate in the QRIS program. Since we started the program, we have increased our scores in both the ITERS and ECERS classroom assessments and have also made improvements in the quality of teacher-child interactions through the use of the CLASS assessment, and we have more CLASS-reliable staff who can do the ratings. With the money the program has received, the classrooms have purchased materials to enhance many areas of the learning environment.Child Care Center Manager
A Family Child Care Provider shared: I started the program almost a year ago. Since then, we have been CLASS observed, which provided my assistant and myself with very valuable information and tips on how to better teach the children we work with. We participate in the ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE-2 assessing, which has improved our parent involvement with weekly activities. We have even had two get-togethers since joining the program, which has encouraged family-family interactions, where before the get-togethers were very little if at all. I am lucky to be a part of such a wonderful program that not only teaches us as providers, but helps us help the families we work with by providing information and encouraging them to be more involved with their children.
A Library Assistant shared: Strong Start Calaveras has made me think more about my role as a child advocate. I always strive to hold meaningful conversations with parents visiting the library, and I especially enjoy being able to offer professional advice related to parenting; however, I have never considered it part of my job description. Strong Start Calaveras has allowed me to grow and realize that I am not just providing a library program. I am providing a holistic and dynamic service to my community. I am here to offer support as well as early learning literacy services.