Quality Counts San Mateo County Early Learning Excellence
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A child’s first five years are incredibly important. Research shows that children’s early experiences, environments, and relationships can shape how their brains develop and prepare them for kindergarten and beyond. That is why it is so critical for children to have high quality care and education during this time.

The benefits of high quality early care and education last a long time. Children who have a quality start are more likely to do well in school, attend college, and have successful careers.

How Quality Counts helps families

Quality Counts San Mateo County supports the quality improvement efforts of early learning programs to help make the care and education they provide even better.

Child care centers, family child care homes, and preschools all participate in Quality Counts. Programs volunteer to participate so that they can provide the best learning environments possible for children.

Quality Counts rates early learning programs using statewide, evidence-based standards for high quality care and education. The ratings help programs identify where they want to improve. Then, Quality Counts gives the programs helpful resources and training.

Quality Counts also gives families information to select the best early learning program for their child. Visit our find a program page to learn more about Quality Counts participating educators.

Quality Counts San Mateo County is helping raise the quality of participating early learning programs, so that San Mateo County’s young children get the excellent early learning experiences they need for a bright future!

What does high quality early education look like?

Programs that provide high quality early education have:

  • Small class sizes

    Low child-to-teacher ratios and small group sizes, so that children get more one-on-one attention.

  • Excellent teachers

    Educated caregivers and teachers support children’s social, emotional, and physical development.

  • Engaging and enriching curriculum

    Activities are developmentally appropriate and engaging so children are excited to learn.

  • Inclusive communities

    Caregivers and teachers engage families in meaningful ways and embrace families’ individual differences, cultures and home languages.

  • Safe spaces

    Environments are safe and healthy to promote children’s active exploration and learning.

How can I help my program raise its quality?

If you already have child care, ask your program if they are part of Quality Counts and what quality looks like at their program. You should also ask your early learning program how you can help support your child’s early learning and development. After all, you and your child’s teacher are partners in helping your child thrive.