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Professional Learning

If you are an early childhood educator or are considering a career in this meaningful field, we thank you for dedicating your life’s work to such a meaningful profession. We know that it can be stressful and overwhelming at times and are dedicated to supporting you along your professional journey. Below, you will find a constantly evolving selection of professional development opportunities and resources to help you find answers and support.

Yolo Quality Counts & first 5 impact

What is a QRIS?

Nearly every state in the nation has either launched or is developing, a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) to improve the quality of early care and education for children. A QRIS helps programs to improve by measuring current levels of quality against research-backed standards. In California, these standards tie to:

  • Child observations;
  • Developmental and health screenings;
  • Teacher and administrator qualifications;
  • Teacher-child interactions;
  • Teacher-child ratios and group size; and
  • Program environment.

Quality Counts California – Raising the Quality of Early Learning and Care

Quality Counts California is a statewide system of locally implemented quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS), which helps to connect parents and families to high-quality early learning and care programs, and ensures that infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children have quality early learning experiences in their local communities. Quality Counts California also provides resources and support to early learning and care providers so they can create effective early learning and care programs that will help children to grow and thrive.

Why does quality matter?

High-quality early learning and care programs can have a lifelong, positive impact on young children and their families. Research continues to show that children in quality early learning and care programs are more likely to succeed in school and less likely to drop out, need remedial education, or end up in prison.  This innovative approach forges partnerships to achieve the goal of helping children ages 0 to 5 and their families thrive by increasing the number of high-quality early learning settings, including supporting and engaging families in the early learning process. This provides families the information and support they need to promote and optimize their children’s development and learning, both inside and outside the home.

YOLO Quality Counts

The Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) is a grant-funded approach to assess, improve and communicate the level of quality care in early care and education programs in Yolo County. The YCOE QRIS goal is to support children 0-5 and their families engage in the early learning process to ensure all children enter school with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions necessary to be successful in life.

The Yolo County QRIS helps to guide and improve the quality of care and education by measuring current levels of quality against the researched-backed standards of:

  • The California Preschool Learning Foundations
  • The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)
  • The Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS)
  • The Desired Results Developmental Profile for Preschool (DRDP)The tiered ratings are determined by:
  • Child observations
  • Developmental and health screenings
  • Teacher-child interactions
  • Teacher-child ratio’s and group size
  • Classroom environments
  • Teacher and administrator qualifications

How to Apply

  • For more information about the Yolo County Quality Counts CSPP QRIS and QCC programs and an application, please contact Shannon McClarin, Director of Early Childhood Education at shannon.mcclarin@ycoe.org or (530) 668-3752.
  • Find a Quality Rated Program: Add QRIS/IMPACT Rated Sites

QCC Workforce Pathways program

The Yolo County Office of Education QCC Workforce Pathways program provides Yolo County Early Childhood educators with a variety of higher education and professional development options and resources.  The Yolo County Office of Education QCC Workforce Pathways program primary goal is to build and retain a skilled Early Childhood Education workforce.  The program priority is to offer educational incentives to qualified ECE participants based on continuing educational advancement and professional development goals.

Who is eligible – QCC Workforce Pathways Requirements:

Applicants who meet the minimum eligibility requirements may apply for either a Higher Education or Professional Development track incentive. Additionally, applicants must:

  • Be employed by center-based contractor, working as a Family Childcare or Family, Friend and Neighbor provider.
  • Have worked directly with children 0-5 years of age for a minimum of 15 hours per week for a minimum of six months.
  • Be employed within Yolo County with the same employer for a minimum of six months.
  • Must have a COMPLETE CA Workforce Registry profile.

To participate, ECE participants must meet the program requirements, submit a Letter of Intent, and obtain college units and/or professional development hours that meet identified goals, permit and degree requirements.

Level I Priority – Higher Education Degree Track:
ECE professionals who are enrolled in a post-secondary accredited institution taking courses toward an AA or BA degree in Early Childhood Education/Child Development or closely related field and complete six or more degree-appropriate semester units with a grade “C” or better earned during the academic school year.

Level II Priority – Family Childcare and Family, Friends and Neighbor providers Professional Development

Family, Friends and Neighbor providers: Complete a minimum of 6 hours of approved state health and safety/child development trainings during the program year.

Family Childcare Providers: Completion of approved Professional Development trainings during the program year (minimum of 9 hours)

Level III Priority – Child Development Permit – New/Upgrade or Renewal

Participants choosing to apply for a new permit; upgrade their current permit to the next level or renew their permit.

How to Apply
For more information about the YCOE QCC Workforce Pathways program and an application, please contact Shannon McClarin, Director of Early Childhood Education at shannon.mcclarin@ycoe.org or (530) 668-3752.


An early learning quality improvement initiative that provides coaching for a variety of childcare providers (Family, Friends, and Neighbors; family child care; and center-based). Coaching can include a combination of Nurturing Parenting Program (NPP) for family friend and neighbor, family engagement labs, and Quality Counts California coaching. NPP is an evidence-based, family-centered, and trauma-informed curriculum for caregivers including information on child development, nurturing and positive child-rearing practices. IMPACT (Improve and Maximize Programs and All Children Thrive) aims to enhance the quality of existing early childcare and preschool programs in Yolo County by providing training, assessments and supports inclusive of the full range of licensed providers in order to ensure that high-impact communities are fully reached.


For more information contact First 5 Yolo’s QCC Program Officer, Fawn Montagna at fmontagna@first5yolo.org


All About Young Children information for families on children’s early development and offered in 8 languages.

California Department of Education Early Education and Support Division (CDE EESD) offers information regarding laws, regulations, and support for professional development.

California Early Childhood Online (CECO) offers online early learning professional development and resources focused on best practices.

Community Care Licensing this site gives information to, and resources for early learning and care providers and families seeking care.

Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) for providers wishing to use this developmental tracking tool in their programs.

NAEYC is a national organization promoting high quality early learning by connecting practice, policy and research.

Preschool Learning Foundations describe and outline skills young children can gain when provided with high quality early learning experiences.

Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC)  provides training and coaching for providers of care to infants and toddlers.

Social Emotional Foundations for Early Learning offers free teaching activities, resources, book referrals, etc. for providers to support social emotional development in young children.

Environmental safety and health guidelines for early learning and care providers:

Information about ERSI (Environment Rating Scale Institute)

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