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Quality is the Benchmark for Early Child Care and Education

What is Quality Counts California?

Quality Counts California (QCC) is the statewide quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) that supports local and regional agencies in raising the quality of early learning and care. QRIS provides early care and education settings a consistent method to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality they provide and gives parents and families information on what different quality levels mean for the child. QCC is a framework of data-driven, research-based components that improve early care and education site quality and strengthens early care educators to set and practice standards of excellence in their care for children.

QCC in Nevada County supports all licensed family child care, center-based and alternative sites serving children birth through age five enhance the quality of early learning and care programs they provide and inform parents and families on what different quality levels mean for the child. QCC is designed to support and recognize child care programs for implementing research-based practices to provide high-quality environments and experiences for our community’s children. 

By joining QCC, you will make lasting improvements in the quality of care and education you provide the children in your program while being part of the process of systemic change for the field of early childhood education programs. To do this, QCC uses three primary mechanisms to help programs improve and sustain high-quality care:


  1. Technical Assistance and Specialized Training: Participating sites are matched with a QCC Coach, peer mentor, and consultants who provide customized technical assistance with the QRIS assessment and rating processes. Sites are also connected with quality improvement activities, such as training and program enhancements.  

  2. Professional Development and Quality Award Stipends: Professional development stipends encourage education and recognize teachers’ achievements. Quality award stipends recognize sites’ efforts in striving for and achieving higher levels of quality.

  3. Quality Care Assessment and Tools: To encourage self-reflection and to inform quality improvement efforts, participating sites receive a free quality care assessment of every eligible classroom, completed by a certified independent observer, including Environmental Rating Scale (ERS) and Classroom Learning Assessment and Scoring System (CLASS). 

Learn more about the primary mechanisms in detail.

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