Community Members & Funders


Research shows not only that investing in early learning and care settings for children birth to 5 develops individuals who are more successful in school and life, but that taxpayers benefit in the long-run as well. Investment in early learning achieves increased educational outcomes (such as early development of literacy, mathematical reasoning and social skills) and increased probability of high school graduation, as well as increased employment success and decreased criminal activity.

The San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative (SDQPI) engages a variety of program settings in its Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), for children birth to 5, including licensed center-based, family child care home and license-exempt Trust-line early learning and care environments. In its role as a vital resource for quality early learning, San Diego’s QRIS measures and rates the quality of participating early care and education programs. Most importantly, the SDCOE Early Education Department promotes support to early childhood education providers’ ability to use their ratings and select high quality professional development, coaching and other professional growth activities to ensure continuous improvement. Providers may select to participate in SDQPI to develop a Quality Improvement Plan and make improvements. Engaging in having a site rating is optional, though encouraged. All providers actively engaged in SDQPI are providers who value and focus on providing your child with quality early learning opportunities in the environment you select for your child. 

Study Highlights Approach, Benefits to Connecting Early Childhood and Elementary School Data Documents/2021-F5-QPI-data-study.pdf 

SDQPI is how San Diego County implements the state of California’s Quality Rating and Improvement System, Quality Counts California (QCC).QCC is funded by First 5 California and state and federal funding via the California Department of Education. SDQPI is funded by QCC and First 5 San Diego. The focus of all SDQPI efforts aligns with the three domains established by Quality Counts California (QCC): 1) Child Development and School Readiness, 2) Teachers and Teaching, and 3) Program and Program Environment.

Existing funding streams for conducting ratings and supporting and incentivizing improvements are limited based on annual adjustments to funding and available time-specific grants 1-5 years). We need your help to ensure that all of San Diego County’s children in their first five years of life get the kinds of high quality early care and education experiences they need to do well in school and beyond.

We invite you to participate in the following ways:

  • Contact us to invest in supporting SDQPI’s rating and improvement efforts to enhance and sustain high quality for children ages 0-5;
  • Contact us to sponsor the cost for a local early care education provider to receive a rating and/or related quality improvement support;
  • Volunteer in an early learning program, especially as a member of an advisory committee or board of directors;
  • Apply to participate in the Local Child Care and Development Planning Council to participate in developing early care and education strategies that meet local needs; and
  • Talk with friends, neighbors, and other community members about the impact high quality early learning environments have on local schools, neighborhoods, and workforces.