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ELCD Quality Improvement Activities

Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD), Quality Improvement Activities listed in alphabetical order.

AB212: Child Care Salary and Retention Incentive Program
Beginning Together: Inclusion of Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities
California Early Childhood Mentor Program
California Early Childhood Online
California Inclusion and Behavior Consultation Network
California Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN)
California Teaching Pyramid
Child Care Initiative Project (CCIP)
Child Development Training Consortium (CDTC)
Desired Results System for Children and Families
Desired Results Field Training
Development of Early Learning Resources
Dual Language Learners
Evaluation of Quality Improvement Projects
Faculty Initiative Project
Family Child Care at its Best
Health and Safety Training for Licensed and License-Exempt Providers
License Enforcement for Child Care Programs
Local Child Care Planning Councils Grant (LPCs)
Map to Inclusive Child Care
Program for Infant/Toddler Caregivers (PITC)

Stipend for Permit
Subsidized TrustLine Applicant Reimbursement
Training and Stipends for School-Age Program Professionals
800-KIDS-793 Phone Line for Parents

AB 212: Child Care Salary and Retention Incentive Program

Funds are provided to Child Care and Local Development Planning Councils (LPCs) for child care staff retention activities to retain qualified staffs who work directly with children in state-subsidized, center-based programs. The LPCs develop countywide plans in accordance with approved guidelines and submit these plans to the Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD) for review and approval. The funds are intended to supplement, not supplant, existing efforts and investments to retain qualified child care staff at the local level and to promote best practices that foster quality early childhood education.

Beginning Together: Inclusion of Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities

The Beginning Together Project External link opens in new window or tab. ensures that information about children with disabilities or delays is incorporated and appropriate inclusive practices are promoted in the training and technical assistance provided by certified trainers throughout the state. Beginning Together is designed to move inclusive experiences for young children with disabilities and their families from theory into practice. This is accomplished through a training-of-trainers institute and regional technical assistance activities, working directly with the Program for Infant/Toddler Care and Quality Counts California regions. The trainer-of-trainer institutes and technical assistance offered continue to build a cadre of qualified trainers and inclusion facilitators who are available to assist local early learning and care providers, early intervention providers, and special education providers in complying with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act by creating inclusive environments.

California Early Childhood Mentor Program

Early Childhood Mentor Program External link opens in new window or tab. activities are provided at 100 community college campuses to support experienced teachers and directors and encourage them to remain in the field of early childhood education. Financial compensation and professional development support are provided to more than 640 child care and development teachers and 145 directors who have been selected as mentors. Mentor Teacher applicants must complete a self-assessment of their classroom, and their program director must agree to conditions of their participation. Candidates for Director Mentor attend an orientation webinar and a full-day training in mentoring techniques to qualify to apply. A local selection committee convened each academic year by the community college chooses mentor teachers and directors. The average stipend per classroom mentor is estimated to be approximately $1,600 per year. More than 2,100 early childhood education students will be provided with alternative placements for practicum experiences and mentoring support to achieve their academic goals and over 90 director protégés will receive support in improving their program leadership and management skills.

California Early Childhood Online (CECO)

The CECO External link opens in new window or tab. provides free online professional development overview modules covering topics on key early learning resources identified by the CDE/ELCD. CECO’s overview modules include the California Learning and Development Foundations and Frameworks (infant-toddler and preschool), Environment Rating Scales (ERS), Healthy and Active Preschoolers, 3 R’s of Early Childhood, Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP), California CSEFEL, and Strengthening Families. Each overview module takes about an hour and includes video clips and quizzes. Participants receive a certificate upon successful completion of each module.

California Inclusion and Behavior Consultation Network

Through a network of inclusion and behavior consultants, CIBC offers onsite consultation and technical assistance to early care and education providers seeking to support the learning and development of children, ages birth to 5, with disabilities and special needs, including those with challenging behaviors. Onsite consultation assists providers in building their capacity through the use of strength-based teaching strategies, development of accommodations to enhance a child’s learning environment, problem solving, action planning, and facilitation of relationships with community resources that can provide ongoing support of early care and educators.

Early care and education programs funded by the CDE/ELCD are eligible for services at no cost. A program may request consultation for a teacher/provider who has a child with disabilities, challenging behaviors or other special needs on the California Inclusion and Behavior Consultation Network website External link opens in new window or tab..

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California Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN)

The CPIN External link opens in new window or tab. provides statewide professional development, technical assistance, and support to California’s preschool program administrators and teachers to improve the quality of California preschool programs for all children, including children with disabilities and those who are learning English as a second language. Services are provided through the 11 regions of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association. Each regional team has an Early Childhood Education (ECE) lead, a special education lead, and an English Language Learner Lead. Each local CPIN team is responsible for establishing and maintaining the local network of preschool administrators/teachers/leaders who meet at least five times during each school year. The CPIN provides leadership and consistent messages of instructional support in the CPIN content areas, including, but not limited to content based on, the California Preschool Learning Foundations and the California Preschool Curriculum Framework, covering the domains of social-emotional development, language and literacy, English-language development, mathematics, visual and performing arts, physical development, health, history/social science, and science. CPIN training and technical assistance may also cover content from the Preschool English Learners (PEL) Guide Inclusion Works and other CDE/ELCD initiatives and publications. On-site technical assistance will be provided to preschool programs located in districts with an Academic Performance Index of deciles one to three.

California (CA) Teaching Pyramid

Developed by the California Collaborative on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL), the CA Teaching Pyramid External link opens in new window or tab. approach was built on the Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) model with the incorporation of quality early childhood practices. The California Teaching Pyramidhas further adapted the approach to incorporate the “facilitative administrative practices” as described in research documents. The CA Teaching Pyramid is working towards an integrated state-wide system, connecting early learning and care programs with authorized trainers and coaches versed in the Teaching Pyramid conceptual framework. The Teaching Pyramid Framework, with its emphasis on strong relationships, support for social competence, and the prevention of challenging behaviors, promotes belonging for infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children, and supports the inclusion of children with challenging behaviors as well as children with behavior issues related to their disabilities, which also results in reduced rates of suspension and expulsion.

The power of the CA Teaching Pyramid is most clearly seen when it is implemented across an entire site, district, or agency (i.e., program-wide). There are six recommended components for achieving a program-wide approach: 1) planning by a group of leaders, 2) training in a systematic way, 3) coaching/technical assistance to support implementation to fidelity, 4) incorporation of family engagement to strengthen the link between home and school, 5) identification and training of those responsible for the development of positive behavior support plans, and 6) follow-up for sustainability after training ends.

Child Care Initiative Project (CCIP)

Local resource and referral (R&R) agencies use the funds to implement a model that builds licensed family child care capacity; informs the provision of quality of care; and supports providers and families in their collaborative efforts to optimize the early care and education of their children. The model assesses local supply and demand; recruits individuals to become licensed family child care providers; offers culturally and linguistically relevant professional development opportunities that are based on current research and evidence-based practices; provides technical assistance and support to providers (potential and established) and families; and connects them with resources. CCIP services External link opens in new window or tab. focus on the areas of business practices, program development, family engagement and support, child development, provider support, and resource connections. The funds also maintain the efforts of the local R&Rs to meet the need for infant and toddler care in their communities by recruiting, engaging, and supporting individuals to provide this type of care.

Child Development Training Consortium (CDTC)

Financial and technical assistance is provided to students to access college-level child development coursework to raise the quality of care in early care and education settings throughout California. This training creates a pool of qualified staff for child care and development programs and addresses issues of access related to training, career ladder access for providers, staff retention, content flexibility, and cost effectiveness, while reaching out at the local level to assist in the recruitment and preparation of underrepresented groups. Participants, currently employed in a child care and development program, earn college units in child development and general education as required to attain the Child Development Permit. Students may attend regularly scheduled core curriculum classes. Classes may be offered at off-campus locations so that working students may have greater access.

CDTC Web site External link opens in new window or tab.

Desired Results System for Children and Families

Funds are being used to continue the development of an assessment instrument to measure the progress of children and families who receive subsidized child care and development services through state-contracted center-based or family child care home education networks. The Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP External link opens in new window or tab. system is a resource and provides an instrument for staff and families to monitor the progress of their children and to continually improve their programs. The DRDP is being revised to fully align to all volumes of the Preschool Learning Foundations and the Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations and to create consistent alignment between the infant/toddler and preschool instruments. The ELCD is collaborating with the CDE Special Education Division (SED) on current revisions to provide one consistent DRDP instrument to the field that will meet both the assessment requirements for ELCD-funded programs and SED federal reporting requirements. The Desired Results system also includes a Desired Results Family (Parent) Survey and the Harms Environment Rating Scales to measure program quality. In addition, a computer-based application of the DRDP, known as DRDPtech, is available for use by local program staff to maintain and manage their DRDP data.

Desired Results Field Training

The Desired Results Field Training External link opens in new window or tab. purpose is to provide training and technical assistance in all areas of the Desired Results System to assist programs in using assessment for program quality improvement. The Desired Results System includes: the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP), the Environment Rating Scales, the Parent Survey and the program self-evaluation. Regional trainings on the Desired Results system are provided to new program directors and newly funded agencies; The DR Field Training project maintains a robust web site that includes training materials, online courses, tutorials, access to DRDPtech and work aids to assist in implementation of the Desired Results System. The Desired Results Field Training assists projects in their self-evaluation process to improved outcomes for children and families. This project will also include further development of the system, including DRDP (2015) training materials and activities, training videos, online classes, CD ROMs, and other support materials. The Desired Results Field Training includes assistance provided in person, telephone, and through e-mail.

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Development of Early Learning Resources

Available now through CDE Press are the foundations and frameworks for infant/toddler and for preschool. The California Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations cover the knowledge and skills achieved by our youngest children at ages 8 months, 18 months and 36 months in the domain areas of social-emotional development, language development, cognitive development and perceptual and motor development. The California Infant Toddler Curriculum Framework is the companion publication covering the same ages and domain areas with detailed guidance on planning learning environments and experiences that promote optimal learning and development for infants and toddlers. A companion DVD set is also available.

The California Preschool Learning Foundations comes in 3 volumes and reviews the skills and knowledge that children typically achieve at ages 4 and 5 years old. Volume one covers the domain areas of social-emotional development, language and literacy development, English language learners, and mathematics. The domains in volume 2 are visual and performing arts, physical development and health. The third and final volume covers history-social science and science domains. A companion DVD series will be available in 2015.

With each volume of preschool foundations there is a companion curriculum framework covering the same ages and domain areas. The California Preschool Curriculum Framework (volumes 1, 2, and 3) provides guiding principles to early childhood professionals on research-based strategies for environments, interactions and teaching approaches that optimize learning and development for children ages 4 and 5 years old.

The Alignment of the California Preschool Learning Foundations with Key Early Education Resources, second edition (print format only) illustrates how the preschool foundations align with California state Kindergarten content standards, the common core state standards, the infant toddler foundations and the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework.

The Early Childhood Educator Competencies, released in 2012, is now in print and available online. It provides an organizational framework for understanding the professional structure of the early childhood field. It features color-coded tables and pie chart that display the 12 competency areas (Child Development and Learning; Culture, Diversity, and Equity; Relationships, Interactions, and Guidance; Family and Community Engagement; Dual-Language Development; Observation, Screening, Assessment, and Documentation; Special Needs and Inclusion; Learning Environments and Curriculum; Health, Safety, and Nutrition; Leadership in Early Childhood Education; Professionalism; Administration and Supervision. Additionally, it highlights the four competency contexts: Advancing the Early Childhood Profession; Creating and Maintaining Program Policies and Practices; Planning and Guiding Early Learning and Development; and Supporting Early Learning and Development. Print copies are in full color and come as a binder-ready product, shrink-wrapped with cover, spin, and dividers, and fits easily in a binder. A series of 13 videos describing this publication is available to view free on the Early Childhood Educator Competencies Web site.

Dual Language Learners (DLL)

In 2007, the California Department of Education released a resource guide titled Preschool English Learners: Principles and Practices to Promote Language, Literacy, and Learning and its companion DVD A World Full of Language Statewide training on this resource guide has been provided by the California Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN) regions. Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) has been contracted to develop extended training modules for Dual Language Learners External link opens in new window or tab. . This project will provide Training of Trainers to CPIN leads who will train teachers, aides, administrators, and family members in their regional areas.

Evaluation of Quality Improvement Projects

Evaluation activities focus on a selection of Quality Improvement (QI) activities in each contract cycle. The previous cycle funds a study that will document access and utilization of services by family child care providers and will focus on QI projects that provide training or support services such as Child Care Initiative Project (CCIP), Child Development Training Consortium (CDTC), the California Early Childhood Mentor Program (CECMP), Family Child Care at Its Best, and the Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC). This reports which programs are serving these two groups, what services are provided, gaps and overlaps of services, and make recommendations for improvement. Recent evaluation work reviewed Quality Improvement-Professional Development (QI-PD) contractors’ Project Annual Reports to determine if Reports provide the ELCD the ability to assess efficiency and effectiveness of utilization of CCDF funds, identify how the workforce utilizes all trainings, and understand how trainings support the workforce’s professional advancement. This evaluation project lead to the establishment of new data collection and reporting requirements for QI-PD contractors.

Faculty Initiative Project

Essential content and competencies embodied in CDE/ELCD publications and materials are integrated into early childhood education curriculum in the California Community College (CCC) and California State University (CSU) systems by fostering collaboration and building consensus among faculty members involved in core early childhood education and child development curriculum. Among publications and programs to be included in informational seminars are the Preschool Learning Foundations, Preschool Curriculum Frameworks, and the Preschool English Learners Resource Guide.

Faculty Initiative Project Web page External link opens in new window or tab.

Family Child Care at its Best

The Family Child Care at its Best External link opens in new window or tab. program, administered by the Placer County Office of Education, provides training and quality improvement services to licensed family child care home providers throughout the state. Workshops based on the Family Child Care at Its Best series have been developed in English, Spanish, Cantonese or Mandarin, Russian, Arabic, and Farsi for use by family child care providers. The training program has expanded both the content and delivery of training and is provided at no cost for family child care providers.

Health and Safety Training for Licensed and License-Exempt Providers

R&R agencies will receive funds through a contract to arrange for or provide reimbursement to licensed center-based staff, licensed family child care providers, and license-exempt family child care and in-home providers. Reimbursement is for costs associated with completing health and safety training, including pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), pediatric first aid, prevention and control of communicable disease in child care settings, safe handling of food, nutrition, disaster preparedness and mitigation, and other health-and safety-related subjects. Trainers and curriculum content is reviewed and approved by the California Emergency Medical Services Authority.

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License Enforcement for Child Care Programs

Funds will be used for licensing inspections by California Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) of child day care facilities. The CCLD has responsibility for licensing child care facilities under authority of the California Health and Safety Code (§§ 1596.70, et seq.) and to enforce minimum standards contained in Title 22, Division 12, of the California Code of Regulations. The mission of the CCLD is to protect the health and safety of children in care. This project funds activities and licensing visits to maintain and increase the quality and availability of child care.

Local Child Care Planning Councils Grant

Child Care and Development Local Planning Councils (LPCs) are appointed by 58 local county boards of supervisors and county superintendents of schools to assess the needs for child care and development services. LPCs have a mandated and diverse membership structure inclusive of child care providers, parents, public agencies, community agencies, and discretionary local stakeholders. LPCs identify gaps in the supply and demand of all forms of care. Based on the information obtained through periodic need assessments, the LPCs establish priorities for the use of funds to address the identified needs of unserved and underserved populations within their county. These priorities typically specify the ages of children; family income of target populations, special education needs or circumstances of families, and the geographic areas of service. LPCs encourage public input in the development of local priorities and hold public hearings. LPCs prepare a comprehensive countywide child care plan which is designed to mobilize public and private resources to address identified needs. LPCs collaborate with subsidized and non-subsidized providers, Head Start agencies, First 5 County Commissions, county welfare departments, human service agencies, job training programs, employers, integrated child and family service councils, parent organizations, and other interested parties to foster partnerships designed to meet local child care needs.

The MAP to Inclusion and Belonging…Making Access Possible Project (MAP Project)

The MAP Project External link opens in new window or tab. formerly known as The Map to Inclusive Child Care Project, began in state fiscal year 1998-99 with a federal technical assistance grant designed to support a statewide initiative to expand opportunities for inclusion of children with disabilities and other exceptional needs in child care settings. The MAP Project is committed to improving access to services and care for children and families, which includes support, education and training for providers and the families they serve. The current focus of the MAP Project is to work with stakeholders to expand access to opportunities for children with disabilities and other special needs from birth to 22 years of age in early care and education, after school and community settings.

Major activities focus on the development and dissemination of resources to support inclusive practice for the early care and education field, as well as out-of-school time providers of care. The resources include an extensive, searchable website with practical, relevant topics, as well as county-specific resources and information. The website houses MAP Project-developed resources, as well as links to resources on other websites gathered into topic areas. Additional resources and training materials are added regularly in response to needs and issues identified by the field. Family Engagement; Healthy Mind, Healthy Body; School Age and Beyond; and Cultural Competency and Resources in Multiple Languages are among the topic areas that have been recently added. Another feature of the website is a list of state and national organizations and agencies providing training and technical assistance on inclusion. The Map Project continues to work with the stakeholder group to identify emerging issues that affect quality child care for children with disabilities.

Program for Infant/Toddler Caregivers (PITC)

The PITC External link opens in new window or tab. is a comprehensive multi-media training program for trainers of infant/toddler caregivers. The trainer-of-trainers institute is a hybrid of in-person and online learning and covers the topics of: social-emotional growth and socialization; quality group care; learning and development; and cultural and family. Participants usually include program administrators, college faculty, early interventionists, and other professionals who provide training for caregivers. Participants receive electronic access to all PITC curriculum guides, training manuals, videos, and other resource materials offered through the Trainer Institute. Participants who complete the modules and related course work receive certificates that recognize them as certified PITC trainers. Certified trainers who receive scholarships will be required to conduct a minimum number of hours of PITC training in their local area during the two years following certification. After completion of the local training requirement, these trainers are eligible to become trainers in the PITC Regional Support Network and receive compensation for providing training in accordance with the policies of that project.

In addition to the intensive institutes for trainers that offer PITC certification, each year additional events and webinars are offered, designed as a special-focus event for specific audiences to respond to emerging training needs. The purpose of the focused events is to expand the impact of PITC on the quality of care for infants and toddlers throughout California. The primary target audience for the focused events are PITC certified trainers, as well as other trainers, coaches, program administrators, and early childhood college faculty. These events also function as a source of continuing education for the core group of PITC trainers who provide training and technical assistance to local communities throughout California.

PITC Community College Demonstration Sites

PITC Demonstration Sites receive funds to interested California community colleges to integrate the PITC philosophy and practices into their existing infant/toddler programs, into the infant/toddler courses, and to serve as a demonstration of what PITC looks like in practice. The four existing PITC demonstration programs will receive training and technical assistance from PITC and can use funding as necessary for staff training, equipment, and materials to enhance and maintain the quality of the programs. Funds will also be allocated to support and maintain the best practices of the PITC philosophy including small groups, continuity of care, primary caregiving and following children’s individual schedules.

PITC Regional Support Network

The PITC Regional Support Network provides training and technical assistance at the local site and family child care level, to improve the quality and increase the quantity of child care services for infants and toddlers. The purpose of the PITC Regional Support Network is to support the development and improvement of infant/toddler child care and development programs in California by: (1) providing on-site training on the PITC, the California Infant/Toddler Program Guidelines, the California Infant/Toddler Foundations, and the California Infant/Toddler Curriculum Framework. The PITC Regional Support Network also provides technical assistance, including coaching and mentoring, and program improvement for program administrators, Infant/Toddler care teachers and family child care providers in local programs, (2) conducting online facilitated courses related to Infant/Toddler care and development in cohorts, and (3) conducting seminars on the content of the California Infant/Toddler Learning and Development System materials at local, regional, and statewide events.

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California Child Care Resource and Referral Network (R&R) Programs

Funds support California’s system of child care R&R programs that are located in every county of the State. These funds support:

  • Providing parents information about their child care options and components of quality child care, and disseminating consumer education materials;

  • Making referrals for child care services that best meet families’ needs;

  • Developing, gathering, and reporting data from callers and child care providers to the CDE regarding the supply and demand for child care services within their local areas;

  • Maintaining comprehensive, up-to-date databases that includes information about all licensed providers offering child care in each R&R program’s service delivery area;

  • Carrying out activities that support center-based, family child care and license-exempt or informal care providers, such as, recruiting and training child care providers and offering technical assistance to enhance child care provider skills; and

  • Administering the TrustLine background check application process.

Stipend for Permit

The Child Development Training Consortium helps potential teachers in child care and development programs to obtain a Child Development Permit External link opens in new window or tab. by paying the cost of the application fees. Salaries of child care teaching staff are substantially less than those of workers with similar levels of education. Assistance with the cost of permits provides these staff with incentives to proceed with completing training related to child development that research has shown to increase the quality of care provided to children. Staff members also benefit from completing the additional coursework, because they are able to secure permanent positions as teachers. Implementation of this program continues in collaboration with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, which issues these permits.

Subsidized TrustLine Applicant Reimbursement

Funds support the TrustLine Registration process of state and federally subsidized license-exempt child care providers. TrustLine External link opens in new window or tab. is the California registry of in-home and license-exempt child care providers who have passed a background screening. TrustLine was created by the California Legislature to give parents an important tool to use when selecting a caregiver for their children. It is the only authorized screening program of in-home and license-exempt caregivers in the state with access to fingerprint records at the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI and access to California’s Child Abuse Central Index. Health and Safety Code Sections 1596.66(a) requires that license-exempt child care providers, except grandparents, aunts, and uncles, that are funded through the Alternative Payment Program or the Child Care and Development Block Grant be registered on TrustLine. Fees associated with the TrustLine process are paid for license exempt providers serving families who are eligible for subsidized child care or as participants in Stages 2 and 3 of the CalWORKs child care system.

Training and Stipends for School-Age Program Professionals

This activity focuses on school-age program professionals, supports the retention of trainers for the state-funded Kid's Time training of trainer’s institutes, and provides community-based training to staff working in before-and after-school programs. Stipends support endorsed trainers who conduct local training sessions and provide on-site consultation for the enhancement of quality in school-age and after-school programs.

Training activities will include: developmentally appropriate practices for school-age programs, behavior management techniques, creating positive interpersonal environment, assessing children’s interests, building partnerships with parents, strengthening links with the child’s school, and encouraging community participation.

California School-Age Consortium Web site External link opens in new window or tab.

800-KIDS-793 Phone Line for Parents

A toll-free phone system, accessible to the public throughout the state of California that provides general child care information to and connects all parents, child care providers, and other interested individuals to their local child care resource and referral programs in California. There is no income eligibility or fee related to receiving this service. Using the automated system, a caller can enter his/her zip code and be provided with the name and phone number of his/her local child care resource and referral program or can choose to speak to a live information specialist. This bilingual (Spanish and English) service system is an important component of the comprehensive consumer education campaign.

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Questions:   Early Learning and Care Division | 916-322-6233
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, March 04, 2020
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