​Resources to Improve Quality

There are many resources to help you measure and improve your program quality.

The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) is an observational tool that evaluates teacher-child interactions.

The California Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Competencies describe the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that early childhood educators need in order to provide high quality care and education to young children and their families.

California Preschool Curriculum Frameworks were created as companion volumes to the California Preschool Learning Foundations and present strategies for early childhood educators that enrich learning and development opportunities for all of California’s preschool children.

The California Preschool Learning Foundations outline key knowledge and skills that most children can achieve when provided with the kinds of interactions, instruction, and environments that research has shown to promote early learning and development.

Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) has summaries of effective practices for providers that support a child’s social and emotional development.

Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS) for 3-5 year olds.

Family Child Care Rating Scale (FCCERS)

Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS) for children from birth to 2 ½ years of age.

Infant/Toddler Frameworks is a companion curriculum to The California Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations and helps support early childhood educators and provides them with a structure to make informed decisions about curriculum practices.

Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations is a publication that describes evidence-based expectations for how a child progresses through the social-emotional, language, cognitive, and perceptual and motor milestones.

Organizations that Support Quality

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

California Association for the Education of Young Children provides resources and professional development opportunities for early educators. It also aims to advance and support policies that benefit and promote high-quality early education at the state level.

The California Preschool Instructional Network was created to provide professional development opportunities for early childhood and school readiness staff. It includes online resources at www.cpin.us as well as regional level support. Orange County has key contacts for the region, special education, and English Learners.

Children’s Home Society provides services to current and potential licensed child care providers. This includes workshops and training to support professional development and quality improvement. Children’s Home Society also serves as Orange County’s Resource and Referral agency. Child care programs sign up to be included in the directory of programs and referral counselors share listings with parents.

District Early Learning Specialists (ELS) (formerly known as School Readiness Coordinators) work with school staff, families, community stakeholders, and the early care and education community to identify service gaps, promote best practices, and provide quality early education and intervention services for children, ages 0-5, within their district area. They work with local preschool providers to improve the school readiness of children by aligning curriculum and connecting centers with parent education, health resources, and social services providers.
Please click here for a roster and contact information for the ELS at each Orange County school district.

Help Me Grow (1-866-GROW-025) is a free service available to parents and professionals to help meet the individual developmental needs of children. Help Me Grow is a resource for providers, and it is a resource for providers to share with the families in their programs.

National Association for the Education of Young Children was created to improve early childhood education programs by creating and publicizing standards, providing educators with professional development opportunities, and advocating for public policies that support high-quality early education.


Orange County Association for the Education of Young Children provides resources and professional development opportunities for early educators. It also aims to advance and support policies that benefit and improve early education.


PROFESSIONAL GROWTH AND EDUCATION

California Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN)  provides professional development opportunities for early childhood and school readiness staff.


CARES PLUS is a professional development program for early educators and offers online and in-person trainings, professional growth advising, and professional networking to improve the quality of child care.

Child Development Permit Matrix California offers six levels of Child Development Permits, each with its own set of issuance requirements and each authorizing the holder to perform different levels of service in child development programs.

Child Development Training Consortium is a statewide program funded by the California Department of Education that supports high-quality early education by offering training, technical assistance, and resources, including reimbursement for course fees and books that are utilized to obtain a Child Development Permit. The program is administered by the Yosemite Community College District and serves all of California. CDTC provides services, training, technical assistance, and resources to students and professionals working with and for children.

Permit holders have access to consultations with trained Professional Growth Advisors. Click here to learn more.

Children’s Home Society of California offers workshops throughout the year for child care and early education professionals on a variety of topics including child development, marketing, and tax and record keeping.


Community Care Licensing licenses and monitors family child care and child care centers.

Orange County Association for the Education of Young Children is a professional organization for early educators that provides resources and professional development opportunities.

Orange County CARES Plus is a professional development program for early educators that includes in-person and online trainings, professional growth advising, and networking. Some participants receive cash stipends for their participation.

Orange County Department of Education provides professional development opportunities in a variety of content areas for educators.

Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) offers early learning professional trainings and professional development courses for educators.


Stipends for Professional Growth and Education (AB212 ) provides financial incentives to qualified employees of California Department of Education (CDE), subsidized child care centers in Orange County. The purpose of these financial incentives is to increase the education of teachers, involve them with professional growth activities, and increase staff retention. Individuals can receive stipends for completing classes and early childhood degree programs. For more information, contact Roseann Andrus, Program Consultant, Orange County Childcare and Development Planning Council, at (714) 708-4992 or randrus@ocde.us.

Ready to start improving your program quality? See the QualityStart OC training calendar for upcoming opportunities.

Local Degree Programs

Below are some options available for individuals interested in pursuing degrees in early childhood education or related programs. The Orange County Department of Education QualityStart OC program is providing these resources for informational purposes and does not endorse any particular program. 

GET YOUR ASSOCIATE’S DEGREE IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Fullerton Community College offers early childhood  education courses for credit towards an Associate of Arts degree in Child Development and Educational Studies and offers courses to become an infant and toddler teacher.


Irvine Valley College offers early child development courses for credit towards an Associate of Science degree in Child Development.


Orange Coast College offers early childhood education courses for credit towards an Associate of Arts degree in Child Development and Education Studies and offers certificate courses to become an infant and toddler teacher.


Saddleback College offers early childhood education courses for credit towards an Associate of Arts degree in Child Development and Education Studies and offers certificate courses to become an infant and toddler teacher.


Vanguard University offers early childhood education courses for credit towards a Associate of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education and offers certificate courses to become an infant and toddler teacher.

GET YOUR BACHELOR’S DEGREE IN EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT OR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Brandman University has a location in Irvine and in cities across California, as well as online degree options. Brandman offers a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education.


California State University, Fullerton offers early childhood education courses for credit towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Adolescent Studies.


Concordia University offers courses toward a minor in Early Childhood Education, which fulfills the state requirements to obtain a Child Development Permit.


Vanguard University offers early childhood education courses for credit towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education.

GET YOUR MASTER’S DEGREE IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Brandman University has a location in Irvine and in cities across California, as well as online degree options. Brandman offers a Master of Arts in Leadership in Early Childhood Education.

GET YOUR DOCTORATE DEGREE IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION​

Brandman University has a location in Irvine and in cities across California, as well as online degree options. Brandman offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership.

California State University, Fullerton offers a Doctor of Philosophy program in Educational Leadership focused on preschool through K-12 leadership.

University of California, Irvine offers classes toward a Doctor of Philosophy in Learning, Cognition and Development.