Meet the Quality Start Consortium
Quality Start San Bernardino County’s Consortium Workgroup is made up of local education agencies, early childhood educators, and community members who are passionate about the importance of high quality early care and education. The collaborative group meets on a quarterly basis to discuss program updates and pertinent topics related to the future of the program. April’s meeting focused on the experiences of enrolled early educators and provided an update on the Professional Development System that is currently being built.
Four early educators currently participating in Quality Start San Bernardino (QSSB), spoke about the benefits that drew them to the program, the impact it’s had on their environments, and the hopes they have for QSSB’s future. The panel included:
Rosita Smith, owner of Rosie’s Preschools in Rialto and San Bernardino (private centers)
Dr. Pamela Cotton-Roberts, owner of Pam Performing Arts School, Inc., in Rancho Cucamonga (Family Child Care)
Eric Martin and Cheree Montgomery, Martin Family Day Care in Highland (Family Child Care)
The Participant Experience
The panelists all agreed that they were drawn to the professional development aspects of QSSB, including the opportunity to work one on one with a coach and attend various trainings throughout the year. Rosita Smith particularly appreciated the QSSB Early Childhood Conference in which she and her staff were able to attend sessions on emotional support, STEM in the classroom, parent-teacher relationships, and more. The coaching and support they’ve received so far has deepened their understanding of quality care and helped them meet the needs of their children. QSSB has also afforded them the ability to improve their sites through incentives. Participants enjoyed peer networking opportunities and sharing tips and ideas with one another. The panelists have shared the purpose of QSSB with their families, why quality matters and the strides they are taking to grow theirs.
The Future of QSSB
They each look forward to continuing on in their journey to even greater quality and there was an echoed sentiment that being a part of such a program will distinguish them from other education environments.
All four have high hopes that QSSB will continue to advocate for them as both educators and business owners, as well as young children and families.
Workforce Professional Development System is Under Construction
The thirty plus meeting attendees broke into groups to discuss elements of the professional development system action plan. The system is being built to make professional development opportunities more accessible for early childhood educators. The Workforce Workgroup is made up of representatives from Cal State San Bernardino, Superintendent of Schools, Child Care Resource Center, VIVA Strategy + Communications. They are working on:
- Utilizing existing and free tools already being used across the state
- Creating a clear and supportive career path for educators
- Ensuring all providers have access to professional development opportunities
- Building a sustainable funding stream
- Evaluating the quality and effectiveness of trainings and technical assistance
The next consortium meeting will be held in September. If you are interested in attending as a parent, educator, or community member, please fill out the contact form here.