What is Quality

Understanding the key elements of quality care is important so you can make an informed decision when choosing a child care or preschool program. There are many definitions and characteristics of high-quality care and yet the way you feel when you and your child are at a program is one of the best indicators you can use. The Quality Care Checklist is a valuable resource for understanding quality care – it is designed for you to easily bring with you when you visit programs.

While no one can replace you, quality child care will offer a stimulating, nurturing environment that supports your child for school success and reaching full life potential, and supports you to be the best parent you can be.

So, what exactly is quality child care?

Quality is defined by degrees of excellence. This is not average, not “it will do”, but excellent child care. The bottom line is you need to feel that the program you select will offer a safe, stimulating, and loving environment in which your child will thrive mentally and physically.

High-quality child care and preschool programs offer:
  • A safe and welcoming learning environment that supports a child’s emotional, social, and academic development.
  • Positive, nurturing relationships that give young children the individual attention they need.
  • Fun activities that nurture children’s development and encourage creativity and imaginative play.
  • Hands-on activities that stimulate and encourage positive brain connections in children.
  • Trained teachers and caregivers who support parents, partner with them, and provide regular feedback on the development of their child.
How Quality Counts Supports Quality Care

Quality Counts  helps programs obtain the highest level of quality while offering a guide for early learning professionals to improve their program, increase their skills, and truly impact the lives of children and families. Quality Counts, Santa Barbara County’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) is based on a set of quality standards that are graduated according to levels of quality. QRIS is the process used for rating, supporting, and rewarding child care providers for offering high-quality care. Learn more about the programs that are recognized by Quality Counts and search  for a quality preschool and child care program today.