Policy Resource

District of Columbia Launches Early Learning Quality Improvement Network

Sep 16, 2016

Learn more about this neighborhood-based system that benefits infants, toddlers, and providers.

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser launched the Early Learning Quality Improvement Network (QIN) on March 23, 2015. The Early Learning QIN focuses the District’s efforts on providing high-quality early learning and health services for infants, toddlers, and families. It is the first step in a multi-year effort to build a neighborhood-based quality improvement system. QIN designates three nonprofits, United Planning Organization, CentroNia, and Mary’s Center, as hubs to support 14 child development centers across the city. The three nonprofits partner with the city to improve child care facilities with more limited resources. The hubs assist providers in meeting Early Head Start standards and provide comprehensive services for children and families. Programs have access to mental health consultation, family engagement specialists, health and nutrition managers, and early intervention staff.

This neighborhood-based system benefits infants, toddlers, and providers. Bowser aims to increase the number of high-quality slots for infant and toddler care by 400. Families enrolled in these slots have access to comprehensive services. Providers enjoy job-embedded professional learning and coaching, guaranteed full payment for a negotiated number of subsidy slots at the gold rate when the program maintains overall 85% monthly enrollment, assistance with recruitment to fill vacancies, support with transitioning children to pre-k, and priority in District degree and scholarship programs and financial incentives for teachers.

The QIN is being funded through a federal Office of Head Start grant to the District of Columbia for an Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Child Care and Development Fund, and local resources. Total funding for the project is $2.7 million. A PowerPoint on the program can be found here.

You might also be interested in