Assessment and Rating
- QSLA assessments are conducted by trained observers who use consistent standards. These standards are based on the seven elements of the California Quality Rating Matrix.
- Points are accumulated for each of the elements and the total amount of points determines a tier rating from 1 – 5. The higher the rating, the higher the quality of the program.
- Once rated, early learning programs receive specialized support aligned with their particular rating such as coaching, classroom tools, resources, training, and financial incentives that help improve their program’s quality.
Key elements of quality include:
- Staff Qualifications: Training related to increasing teacher effectiveness and qualifications for center directors.
- Adult-Child Ratios: Smaller number of children assigned to qualified teacher and teacher assistant.
- Program Environment: Quality and safety of indoor and outdoor spaces, sufficient materials and resources, overall responsiveness to children, and family engagement.
- Curriculum and Materials: Use of materials that support childhood learning based on observations of a child’s interests and development.
- Adult-Child Interactions: Adult participation and interaction with children to support social-emotional and educational development and learning.
Questions that a QSLA assessor asks:
- Is the facility licensed and in good standing with California Community Care Licensing?
- What is the adult to child ratio?
- Do teachers have valid permits from the State of California?
- Are teachers caring and actively engaged with children?
- Does the program provide developmentally appropriate learning materials and activities?
- Does the program have clear and specific goals for children’s language, literacy, and mathematics, as well as social and physical development?
- Does the program screen children for developmental milestones?
- Has the program staff completed additional professional development trainings?
Use the following materials to help your child care program prepare for the assessment:
- Early Care & Workforce Registry Information
- QSLA Assessment and Rating Orientation
- Assessment and Rating Materials