First 5 Quality Counts

All Other Early Care And Education Programs

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 are the benefits to participating in Quality Counts?

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

  • Coaching to support health and safety, environments, materials, and program structure. Specialty consultation may also available in the following areas:
    • Teacher child interactions (CLASS and CSEFEL)
    • Universal developmental and social emotional screening using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ)
    • Invitation to a Learning Community with other Family Child Care providers (For Family Child Care Providers only)
    • Marketing materials like window stickers and banners to advertise your participation in Quality Counts and your commitment to quality.

You’ll receive these additional benefits at the time of rating:

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

What Incentives do programs in Quality Counts Receive?

Quality Improvement (QI) Grant (one time only)

Professional Development Stipend (annual)

Re-Rating Reward (every 2 years)

$2000 – Small Family Child Care

$350 – Each indiviual participant who completes 21 hours of approved professional development

$1,000 re-rating reward AND:

  • $250 reward (for maintaining rating tier)
  • $500 for every tier increase

$3000 Large Family Child Care or Small Center Site (1 classroom)

$350 – Each classroom staff who complete 21 hours of approved professional development

$1,500 re-rating reward AND:

  • $250 reward to maintain tier rating
  • $500 for every tier increase

$4000 – Large Center Site (2 or more classrooms)

$350 – Each classroom staff who complete 21 hours of approved professional development

$2,000 re-rating reward AND:

  • $250 reward to maintain tier rating
  • $500 for every tier increase

 

* Grant, reward and stipend levels may change and are subject to availability of funding. For a limited time, sites who serve infants and toddlers may be eligible for additional quality improvement grants and quality rewards at the time of rating.

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?

The application period is closed for 2016-2017 year.