Policy Resource

California Takes on the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge

Feb 9, 2016

Learn how California is using Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge funds to strengthen their early childhood systems.

In December 2011, California was awarded a four-year Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant.

Highlights of the work they achieved include:

  • The state invested nearly 75% of its RTT-ELC grant at the local level to support a voluntary network of 17 Regional Leadership Consortia to develop and operate local QRIS. The Consortia agreed on a points-based hybrid rating system approach and developed three common tiers that all local QRIS will use. The elements and points for the common tiers are outlined in the Quality Continuum Framework Consortia Hybrid Matrix. The Consortia also created a corresponding Quality Improvement and Professional Development Pathways document.

  • The state has also executed contracts to provide infant-toddler trainings to home visiting program staff; provide training on developmental screening for local Consortia members; and develop several online courses providing overviews of the California Collaborative for the Social-Emotional Foundations of Early Learning (CCSEFEL) teaching pyramid.

  • Additionally, California began work to expand the core early learning curricula offered at state community colleges. Three new courses are being developed: one focused on infants and toddlers, one on children with special needs, and one on program administration. Community college faculty has made efforts to identify existing courses that align with the three topic areas and will convene a series of regional meetings to present their findings and discuss next steps.

Learn more about California and how other states are using RTT-ELC funds to strengthen their early childhood systems in ZERO TO THREEs papers:

How Are Early Learning Challenge Grant Targeting Infants and Toddlers

The Early Learning Challenge Grant Is Helping States Better Serve Infants and Toddlers

Updated February 2016

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