What Is Quality Connections?
Investments in high-quality early education are important to First 5 San Francisco’s mission. More and more babies spend time each day in some type of early learning setting. All children—especially infants and toddlers—need early learning experiences where they can thrive, with caregivers who understand how to promote their healthy growth and development.
We encourage supportive relationships and connect a caring community of learners where all children, early educators, and family members are valued and included. We support early educators to improve their instructional practices for age-related child growth and development. San Francisco Quality Connections helps early educators create learning environments that provide safe, healthy, and interesting experiences, filled with exploration and discovery.
Quality Connections inspires early learning programs and encourages early educators to strive for continuous quality improvement. Investing in early learning programs ensures every child has the best possible opportunity to reach critical health and well-being benchmarks in order to thrive and be ready for kindergarten.
On this page, you can learn more about Quality Connections, get information to help you make informed choices about early learning programs for your children, and find resources to help you create fun and engaging learning opportunities for your child.
Quality Connections Ratings
Preschools, child care centers, and family child care homes/educators can all participate in Quality Connections. Throughout the year, trained evaluators visit participating programs. During their visit they look at the:
Each program is then given a rating. The program’s rating helps guide the type of quality improvement support that program receives. Early education teachers and administrators have access to free professional development and training around their professional goals. Quality Connections helps early education programs be sure they are providing the best care and education that they can.
Ratings put information about early care and education programs in the hands of parents. However, while Quality Connections ratings take many factors into account, they are not the only measure of a childcare center or preschool. The ratings are one piece of the puzzle in helping parents choose child care and preschool. Ultimately, Quality Connections is working to ensure that early education in the city provides every child the strong start needed to pursue their dreams.
Resources for Families
No one has the ability to influence children’s development more than parents. And there are simple things working parents can do every day that can help a child thrive. Playing, singing, reading, and talking together are just a few of the fun ways you can help your child learn and grow.
Want more ideas? Find free tools, resources, and opportunities to share with your family.
“In my experience rating Quality Connections sites, I see progress at the programs in many ways. Children know how to express when they are upset, they are able to communicate their needs and follow teacher expectations. And, teachers tell me that the coaching and trainings have helped them to reflect and enhance their skill sets to help children develop to their fullest potential. These insightful experiences make me feel energized and confirm the programs progress in quality.”
– Zoobi Waqar, Quality Rating & Improvement Systems Advisor