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Local and State Investments Improve the Quality of Early Education in Los Angeles County

Through local and state dollars, Quality Start Los Angeles has enhanced over 800 early education sites across LA County and continues to expand its impact

LOS ANGELES – Quality Start Los Angeles (QSLA), a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for early learning providers in Los Angeles County, has successfully completed its first program year, having enhanced over 800 early learning providers across the county, to date. Led by a consortium of key early childhood education agencies in Los Angeles, QSLA aims to improve the program quality of early learning providers as a part of the statewide movement to standardize quality ratings in early learning classrooms, so that more young children are better prepared to succeed in school and life.

QSLA works directly at the site level, providing hands-on support in the form of coaching, professional development, and family engagement; as well as providing direct support to parents; and working to inform key stakeholders about the benefits of investing in quality programs for children birth to five.

Research shows that high quality early childhood education can improve a child’s health, social-emotional skills, and academic readiness for school. “Children who receive high quality early childhood education are more likely to graduate high school, pursue higher education or job training, and earn higher incomes. By assessing and elevating quality of programs offered throughout the county, we are ensuring that our children have the necessary foundation they need to grow, and thrive into academia and beyond,”said Keesha Woods, Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Executive Director of Head Start and State Early Learning Programs.

QSLA rates programs on specific quality measures found in the California Quality Continuum Framework Rating Matrix such as learning activities, teacher-child interactions, and environment. Ratings are from 1 to 5, with 5 demonstrating the highest quality. To date, 45 states across the country are piloting or implementing a QRIS quality accountability system. All 58 counties in California are currently participating in QRIS, with Los Angeles County as an early adopter of the early learning QRIS movement. The consortia that leads the program is comprised of the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), the County of Los Angeles Office for the Advancement of Early Care and Education, Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP), the Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles (CCALA) and First 5 LA.

“QSLA benefits children, families, and the early learning workforce across LA County. By investing in and promoting quality, we are changing the landscape for our youngest children’s learning and development,” said Alexandra Himmel, Los Angeles Universal Preschool’s Director of Strategic Initiatives.

“QSLA is able to provide support such as incentives to participating early learning providers to help them improve the quality of services they provide to LA County’s youngest learners,” said Ilyssa Foxx, QRIS Program Manager at CCALA.

QSLA is funded by both state and local dollars serving state and non-state funded Infant/Toddler and Preschool programs, centers and family child cares.

To learn more about QSLA or to find a provider that is participating in QSLA, go to www.QualityStartLA.org.

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