Background of Quality Counts

The Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) is a statewide effort designed to make continuous quality improvement an everyday priority among early learning providers. Currently more than 25 states are participating. California began implementing our system in January 2012 after receiving the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge federal grant from the California Department of Education. The goal of the grant is to improve the quality of early learning programs and to close the achievement gap for vulnerable children in our state.

QRIS is founded upon a set of standards for helping infants, toddlers, and preschool age children develop intellectually, physically, socially, and emotionally. It provides a framework for early learning professionals to identify opportunities for improvement, increase their skills, and take steps to make positive changes.

Santa Barbara’s Quality Counts is a collaborative effort led by First 5 Santa Barbara County, Children’s Resource and Referral of Santa Barbara County, and the Santa Barbara County Child Care Planning Council in partnership with local, licensed child care centers and family child care providers. First 5 Santa Barbara serves as the Regional Leadership Consortia that works with licensed child care programs, school districts, and child care partners to improve the availability of high quality services to children and to make information about the quality of child care programs readily available to parents and policymakers. As a Quality Counts community, we are demonstrating our commitment to offering high quality child care and promoting school readiness and are excited to partner with you.