The quality of care received by young children is crucial to their healthy development and school readiness. Child care providers strive to provide high quality care, but may lack the resources that are commonly available to publicly-funded early childhood programs, such as educational materials, on-site professional development, and other support.
First Steps’ Child Care Quality Enhancement (QE) is intended to produce measurable improvements in the quality of care provided to young children. Participating child care providers must serve a high percentage of at-risk children, and are selected through a competitive process that requires a strong level of commitment to the QE process.
- On-site Technical Assistance (TA) at least twice monthly
- Equipment and materials funding
- Integration with locally available training, provided by First Steps and other partners
- Workforce Development
- Coordination with community partners
- Pre/post assessments of the classroom environment and teacher-child interaction, using nationally-recognized observational tools for infant/toddler and preschool settings (ITERS,ECERS,FCCERS)
EARLY HEAD START-CHILD CARE PARTNERSHIPS
The federal Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships initiative was created to expand Early Head Start services within infant-toddler child care settings. Newberry County First Steps has contracted with one local child care center to provide Early Headstart-Child Care Partnership services for 16 children.