Giving young children the excellent early learning experiences they need for a bright future.
WHAT IS QUALITY COUNTS?
Quality Counts Santa Cruz County (QCSCC) is a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for early educators in Santa Cruz County. Participation is voluntary and is designed to support, promote and improve the quality of early care and education programs. Locally, child care centers, family child care homes, and preschools participate in Quality Counts.
QRIS is a national movement that promotes high quality early learning for children, and helps families find high quality programs. Early educators that participate in QCSCC are committed to continually raising the quality of their care.
A QRIS helps to improve early care and education programs by measuring current quality levels against research-based standards. In California, these standards focus on key components of quality early care and education such as child observation, developmental screenings, teacher-child ratios, adult-child interactions, staff qualifications and learning environments.
QRIS helps early learning educators with increased training to expand their skills in working with young children; provides coaching to help programs create learning environments that nurture the emotional, social, and cognitive development of every child; and provides families information to help them understand and choose quality programs.
“A growing body of research confirms the importance of quality early learning experiences to effectively prepare young children not only for school, but for life.” - First 5 California
THE EARLY YEARS MATTER
A child’s first five years are incredibly important. Research shows that children’s early experiences, environments, and relationships can shape how their brains develop and prepare them for kindergarten and beyond. That is why it is so critical for children to have high quality care and education during this time.