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Across the United States, Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) help child care programs improve their quality. In California, QRIS is called Quality Counts California. All types of child care programs are welcome to join this program.
Child care quality for families means:
- A nurturing relationship between children and adults
- The provider/center staff are trained in child development
- The environment is safe and healthy
- The activities for children help them grow and develop
- There are enough adults to care for the children
- Families have good relationships with the provider/center staff
Every county in CA has its own local Quality Counts program and each is a little different.
Usually, a provider receives:
- A trained assessor who visits the program and identifies strengths and needed improvements
- A Quality Improvement Plan. It could include, for example:
- upgrading books, toys and food
- more provider training on child development
- better record keeping methods
- Coaches, mentors, trainers and other quality improvement resources
- A Quality Rating based on many quality factors
When choosing child care, you can find out if the provider is participating in Quality Counts and has a Quality Rating. However, a Quality Rating should not be the only reason for your choice for child care. There are many things to consider when choosing the best child care for your family.