What is Quality Start OC? Quality Start OC is a collaborative partnership of early care and education agencies and services in Orange County.
Last year our school volunteered to become one of the Pilot Schools for Quality Start OC and participate in the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Pilot. Even though we knew that the matrix to assess quality would be based on State and Federal funded centers, we decided to give it a try.
At first we were mainly focused on finding out how we compared to other centers, but as the time went by we realized that we were receiving a great opportunity to assess our health, safety and teaching practices. We opened our school and had our environment and our teachers assessed by the Department of Education trained raters. This has been an incredibly rewarding experience! We have learned about the many important and wonderful things we have been doing as well as some needed areas of growth. We have also received invaluable training opportunities, of which we took full advantage of.
Since the beginning of the process we have improved our children’s assessments in the areas of health and cognitive development. Our teachers took advantage of the coaching hours offered by the Department of Ed. And worked in their classroom to meet important requirements based on the environment and teacher/child interactions. Additionally, our administration team applied knew knowledge acquired in our training into our staff development, team building and management.
Cristiane, our owner and administrator became very involved with the program and was invited by the Department of Ed. to be one of the Directors’ coaches and an advisory committee member for Quality Start OC., which was in turn another wonderful learning and growing experience for our school.
This school year we are entering our second year in this program and we can barely wait to see the goals we will be able to reach at the end of the school year.