First 5 Quality Counts

CSPP & CCTR Contractors

Quality Counts participants are rated on a 5 star scale by independent observers who are experts in early childhood education.  Your program can earn stars for practices that are over and above licensing requirements in three areas:

  • Child development and school readiness
  • Teachers and teaching
  • Program and environment
Click here for more detail on the star rating system

What types of benefits and supports can I receive?

Quality Counts participants work with a Quality Counts coach to assess program practices and develop an individualized Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) to reach quality goals. Quality support may include:  

  • Priority access to professional development opportunities that align with the site’s Quality Improvement Plan, the California Quality Framework, and your agency’s AB212 plan. Providers who complete 21 hours of qualifying professional development are eligible for an AB212 stipend.
  • Rated programs that have received 1, 2, or 3 stars can receive coaching to support health and safety, environments, materials, and program structure.
  • Specialty consultation may also be available for:
    • Teacher and child interactions (CLASS) and Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL))
    • Universal developmental and social emotional screening using the Ages and Stage Questionnaire (ASQ)

Sites receive these additional benefits when they are rated:

  • An Environmental Rating Scale (ERS) assessment
  • A CLASS assessment
  • A review of program progress in the following areas: child observation, developmental and health screenings, lead teacher and director qualifications, and/or ratio and group size
  • Two versions of a rating report: one for sites to use for internal quality improvement guidance, and one to help families understand the site’s quality practices
  • Incentives at each rating period

What incentives are available for Quality Counts participants*?

  • Sites with CSPP enrollment and with ratings of 1, 2, or 3 stars will receive an annual quality improvement grant.
  • Sites with CSPP enrollment and 4 or 5 stars will receive an annual quality reward that may be used to enhance or maintain quality.
  • Sites with stand-alone CCTR contracts that serve infants and toddlers and have ratings of 1, 2, or 3 stars will receive an annual quality improvement grant.
  • Sites with stand-alone CCTR contracts with ratings of 4 or 5 stars will receive a quality reward in fiscal year 2016-2017 that may be used to enhance or maintain quality.

* Quality Improvement Grants and Quality Rewards are for rated sites only. Grant reward and stipend levels may change and are subject to availability of funding.

How Long Can I Participate in Quality Counts?

On an ongoing basis!   As you move up the star rating, the kinds of services you are eligible for may change. 

How do I apply?

Please contact Brian Hickey, Quality Improvement Navigator at the Alameda County Early Care and Education Program for more information about how to apply and if you have any questions.
Brian Hickey
 (510) 208-9722 PHONE
Brian.Hickey@acgov.org