Quality is the Benchmark for Early Child Care and Education

What is Quality Counts California?

Quality Counts California (QCC) is the new 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 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.



All licensed child care programs and alternative sites serving children 0-5 years old have the opportunity to participate!


Participation is voluntary and there are no enrollment fees or costs. If sites want to improve their quality, they have a variety of supports and incentives available to help them achieve high quality care.


Priority will be given to sites who serve children with high needs as defined by the following:

  • Income- Applicant cares for children from low-income families

  • Special Needs - Applicant provides services to children with special health or mental health needs or other disabilities

  • At-Risk Children who are migrant, homeless, in foster care or otherwise identified as at risk for abuse and neglect

  • Language - Applicant provides services to children from families whose primary language is not English

Ways to Participate


There are two options to join Nevada County’s track to quality. Within each track, QCC provides a step-by-step level of support based on an assessment of the child care program’s needs and readiness for quality improvement.

Track 1: Quality Improvement (QI)

QI is an easy way to start quality improvement work. Child care programs can choose to begin at Step I Quality Improvement (QI) or Step II Quality Improvement – System (QI-S). 

In this track, programs receive professional development training and resources, educational support and incentives, help developing a site improvement plan, and participation stipends. 

Track 2: Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS)

The Quality Rating & Improvement System (QRIS) Track provides enhanced support, higher participation stipends and onsite coaching to help programs improve their overall program quality, environment, and teacher-child interactions. Programs in QRIS will also receive support and recognition of their commitment to quality care through rating publications.