2995 North Dixie Highway
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334
Early Care and Education Continuous Quality Improvement
Quality Counts is a comprehensive and voluntary initiative designed to enhance the quality of early care and education programs to improve child well-being. It is a continuous quality improvement process resulting in a periodic star rating from 1 to 5 stars. Funded by the Early Learning Coalition of Broward County, through the Agency for Workforce Innovation’s Office of Early Learning, the program assesses early learning programs and makes recommendations for improvements. Partner agency Family Central, Inc. offers assistance to participating programs to coach them in making quality improvements.
What are the Goals of Quality Counts?
- Enhance child well-being and readiness to enter school
- Raise quality through delivery of support services to early care and education programs
- Affect market demand for quality via consumer awareness activities
Domains of Quality
Learning Environment – Quality Counts uses the research based Environment Rating Scales to assess classroom quality:
- Early Childhood Rating Scale (ECERS-R),
- Infant-Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS-R)
- Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale (FCCERS-R)
- Used by author-trained, reliable raters.
Professional Qualifications – research shows that young children whose teachers have formal education and training in early childhood education do better in school. Quality Counts assesses the education level of the teachers, assistants, and directors in early care and education programs and encourages continuing education
Ratio and Group Size – research strongly suggests that smaller group sizes and more staff with children lead to better outcomes for children. Quality Counts recognizes programs with small group sizes and ratios with higher rating scores.
Curriculum – Implementation of a developmentally appropriate curriculum is a strong predictor of children’s success in school. Quality Counts looks for adherence to the curriculum standards set by the Early Learning Coalition of Broward County.
Family Engagement – Recognizing that children’s chances for success increase when families get involved in their child’s early care and education program, Quality Counts encourages programs to invite ongoing family participation.
Program Administration – A strong set of management practices including record-keeping, financial management, staff hiring and retention practices, and emergency planning are viewed as key to a successful program.
Accreditation – Private accrediting agencies perform an important quality assurance function by accrediting or certifying early care and education programs that meet their standards. Florida designates several accrediting agencies as Florida Gold Seal. Quality Counts recognizes programs meeting Gold Seal accreditation standards with a Plus (+) designation at any Star Level achieved.
How can Early Care and Education Programs get involved?
If you would like more information about participating in Quality Counts, call 954-357-4970.
For information on receiving quality improvement support,
call Family Central, Inc. 954-724-4616.
Links to Partner Agencies
Environmental Rating Scale Updates
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