Early Learning Quality and Inclusion Partnership (EQ+IP)

At a Glance

The Early Learning Quality and Inclusion Partnership (EQ+IP) is funded by First 5 San Mateo County. EQ+IP is a comprehensive, countywide quality improvement partnership that complements and enhances our local Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) and expands access to high quality child care for children with special needs.

About EQ+IP

In June 2015, the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE), acting as the Lead Agency with fifteen funded and unfunded partner organizations and individuals, was awarded a new 3-year grant by First 5 San Mateo County to facilitate the Early Learning Quality and Inclusion Partnership (EQ+IP). This partnership builds on the legacy and accomplishments of First 5’s previously funded projects: the Early Childhood Quality Improvement Project (EQuIP), 4Cs Quality Counts, Bridges to Success, the Child Signature Program, and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation. The partnership also provides an opportunity to align with regional, statewide, and national efforts to raise the quality of early learning programs through the implementation of a Quality Rating and Improvement (QRIS) system. EQ+IP will be strategic in supporting the local QRIS, filling gaps in the system and thoughtfully providing supports to raise the quality of early learning programs through focused activities. In particular, EQ+IP will complement the new California State Preschool QRIS Block Grant.

EQ+IP will also integrate with The Big Lift, a collective impact initiative led by three agencies – Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), SMCOE, and the County of San Mateo – that are partnering with dozens of county leaders and community-based organizations to close the achievement gap and improve third-grade reading proficiency in the County.

EQ+IP will also intentionally support work that enhances early learning programs’ abilities to include children with special needs. This partnership will bring together local early intervention, special education, and nonprofit service providers with expertise in this arena to create a more seamless and accessible system of technical assistance, professional development, and coordination as it relates to children with special needs receiving services in early learning programs. By bringing these partners together, EQ+IP will expand opportunities to leverage funding for early childhood special education and early intervention.

EQ+IP Goals

EQ+IP hopes to accomplish the following goals through coordinated training, technical assistance, and supports to early childhood providers and programs, families and school districts.

Goal 1 (Quality Improvement): Program Quality Assessments and Ratings. The Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) in San Mateo County will have the supports needed to provide program quality assessments, reviews and ratings in an expanded number of early learning settings.

Goal 2 (Quality Improvement): Facility Enhancements. Early learning facilities and environment quality will be enhanced in order to improve scores and ratings on the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) matrix.

Goal 3 (Quality Improvement): Early Learning provider training, technical assistance, coaching, consultation and peer mentoring. Early learning providers and programs will be supported to improve the quality of their skills and practice with children and families as related to the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) matrix.

Goal 4 (Quality Improvement): Recruiting, retaining and educating the early learning workforce. The early learning workforce will be supported to achieve completion of unit-bearing ECE coursework and/or to attain relevant professional certificates, credentials or degrees, particularly at local institutions of higher education: Skyline and Cañada Community Colleges.

Goal 5 (Expanded Access): Training and consultation for early learning providers and programs. Early learning providers and programs will be supported to create and maintain inclusive environments for children with special needs and their families.

Goal 6 (Expanded Access): Enhanced referrals matching children with special needs with appropriate placements. Individual children with special needs, their families, and early learning programs have the support they need to be placed and fully included in early learning settings.

Click to see Training and Professional Development being offered, including links to register for trainings with current openings.