Policy Resource

California's Locally Driven QRIS

Feb 9, 2016

Quality Improvement resource information on state policies and initiatives that impact infants, toddlers and their families

Californias QRIS was framed through their Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) Grant Award. Due, in part, to regional diversity and the importance of local control over improvement processes, California implemented a unique approach that built upon Californias local and statewide successes to create sustainable capacity at the local level to meet the needs of early learners, with a focus on those with the highest needs. It supports a locally-driven quality improvement process that encourages regional assessment, goal setting, and monitoring of progress that leads to tangible change.

The lions share of RTT-ELC grant funding was spent at the local level to support a voluntary network of 17 Regional Leadership Consortia (Consortia), each led by an established organization that is already operating or developing a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). An additional 14 mentee counties were added with supplemental RTT-ELC funding in 2013. As part of this structure, the Consortia bring together organizations in their region with the same goal of improving the quality of early learning and will expand their current areas of impact by inviting other programs to join their QRIS or reaching out to mentor other communities.

In 2014, this local approach to QRIS was formalized with the passage of SB 828 through the creation of QRIS Block Grants within the California State Preschool Program (CSPP). Thirty-two counties or regions receive funding through the block grants to implement a locally determined system for continuous quality improvement. This system is based on a tiered rating structure with progressively higher quality standards for each tier that provides supports and incentives for programs, teachers, and administrators to reach higher levels of quality, monitors and evaluates the impacts on child outcomes, and disseminates information to parents and the public about program quality.

For more information, see http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/rt/rttelcapproach.asp and http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/op/csppqrisblockgrant.asp

Updated February 2016.

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