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High-quality early learning and care programs can have a profound, positive, lifelong impact on young children and their families. Because of that, the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) was developed, beginning in Oklahoma in 1998 and now in 49 systems nationwide. As of 2015, California’s QRIS has incorporated all 58 counties through First 5 California IMPACT grant awards. This has allowed every county to participate in their own locally-designed Quality Improvement System. The Butte program is called Steps to Quality.

Steps to Quality is led by a consortium committed to enhancing and sustaining a quality early learning and care system for the County. This is done by elevating the quality of programs through coaching, training, technical assistance, and financial incentives.

The Consortium priorities provides input, and offers direction and feedback to the implementation team. That team then strategizes a plan that aligns with Quality Counts California’s comprehensive quality rating and improvement system standards. Those strategies and outcomes are shared back to the Consortium team for on-going learning and improvement for our local program. So, just as professionals are improving the quality of their care and instruction, the system is also improving its quality to meet local needs.

Ultimately, transforming system-wide quality ensures that all young children have access to high quality learning experiences where they can grow and thrive.

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