About Quality Ratings


SDQPI is a systemic approach to assessing, improving and communicating the level of quality in early care and education programs.

The focus of all SDQPI efforts align with the three domains established by Quality Counts California (QCC):

  1. Child Development and School Readiness
  2. Teachers and Teaching
  3. Program and Program Environment

Participating in Quality Improvement means that your program is given individualized support tailored to the needs of the site and the site leader. It is focused on how to support staff working directly with children to continually enhance and improve adult-child learning and development interactions and opportunities, maximizing each child’s potential.

Providers may also select to participate in our Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) activities to obtain a 1–5-tiered rating that indicates the level of quality offered at the site. SDQPI helps providers keep up to date with “best practices” in early learning and identify areas for continued improvement through Quality Improvement Plans.

Seven Elements of Quality

Child Observation

Highly skilled teachers use child observation to identify child strengths and opportunities for growth, and tailor their lesson planning to the unique needs of every child

Developmental and Health Screenings

Screenings for developmental, health and emotional needs help support appropriate growth and development for children

Qualified Teachers

Qualified teachers are critical to the learning and development for the young children in their care

Effective Teacher-Child Interactions

High quality teacher-child interactions not only help children establish healthy relationships, but they also lead to overall school readiness and increased academic success

Adult-to-Child Ratios and Group Sizes

The number of children enrolled in a particular learning environment should be limited so that students can create friendships, receive attention from the adults in the room, and have adequate materials to learn with and share

Safe and Engaging Program Environment

Environments that have adequate learning supplies and toys also engage young children to use their creativity and experience to learn new concepts develop their minds, bodies, and friendships to become better prepared for kindergarten and life

Qualified Early Learning Center Directors

Early care and education programs require targeted education and professional development for their leaders

For more information on Quality Improvement and QRIS visit our Provider Portal.