Early Learning Quality and Inclusion Partnership (EQ+IP)

Early Learning Quality and Inclusion Partnership (EQ+IP)

At a Glance

The Early Learning Quality and Inclusion Partnership (EQ+IP) is a countywide collaborative led by the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE).

About EQ+IP

This partnership, led by SMCOE in collaboration with various funded and unfunded county partners, aims to build upon 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
  • Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

The partnership 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 is 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 complements the California State Preschool QRIS Block Grant.

EQ+IP also aligns with The Big Lift, a collective impact initiative led by three agencies – Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), SMCOE and the County of San Mateo – in partnership 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 also supports the work that enhances early learning programs’ abilities to include children with special needs. This partnership brings 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 expands opportunities to leverage funding for early childhood special education and early intervention.

EQ+IP Goals

EQ+IP is accomplishing the following goals through coordinated training, technical assistance and supports to early childhood providers and programs, families and school districts: 

1. Program Quality Assessments and Ratings The Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) in San Mateo County provides program quality assessments, reviews and ratings in an expanded number of early learning settings.

2. Facility Enhancements Early learning facilities and environment quality are being enhanced to improve scores and ratings on the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) matrix.

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

4. Recruiting, retaining and educating the early learning workforce The early learning workforce receives support 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, such as Skyline and Cañada Colleges.

5. Training and consultation for early learning providers and programs Early learning providers and programs receive support to create and maintain inclusive environments for children with special needs and their families.

6. Enhanced referrals matching children with special needs with appropriate placements Individual children with special needs, their families and early learning programs receive the support they need to be placed and fully included in early learning settings.

Early Learning Community

For Partners

Upcoming Deadlines


April 10, 2019 - 3rd Quarter Reimbursement Request Forms (invoices) due. 

Partners, please enter quarterly expenditures directly into Persimmony. You do not need to click the “submit” button as this will submit your reimbursement request (invoice) directly to First 5 (rather than SMCOE).

Once you have entered your quarterly expenditures in Persimmony, please notify Cynthia Fong-Wan (cfongwan@smcoe.org) and Monica Xuereb (mxuereb@smcoe.org). 

Upcoming Meetings


EQ+IP Partners' Meeting

Date: Friday, May 17, 2019 

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 

Location: San Mateo County Office of Education