Quality Start LA Stories

 

Quality Start Los Angeles (QSLA) is part of a state and national movement to raise the quality of early learning programs, so that more children benefit from high-quality early learning experiences. It is the hard work of dedicated early care and education professionals that makes our movement move!

Read the stories below to learn how QSLA is making a difference in the lives of early childhood educators, children, and families in LA County.


Graciela Ceja, Educator/Owner, Ceja Family Child Care

Graciela Ceja wanted to do something different for the kids. She wanted her community to be a better, safer place. With a degree in child development and years of experience in the early learning field, Graciela decided to open her own child care program.

Read Graciela’s QSLA story

Watch a video of Graciela’s QSLA story

Lilit Barsegyan, Program Director, Armenian Relief Society (ARS)-Nairy Preschool & Day Care Center

Lilit’s secret recipe for giving children the best start is to love them and always seek out best practices she can bring into their learning environment. Thanks to Quality Start LA, Lilit can accomplish her unwavering commitment to advancing the quality of her program. ARS-Nairy Preschool has been in the Quality Start LA program for three years, and has a 5 tier rating.

Read Lilit’s QSLA story

Monica Arellano, Program Coach, Mexican-American Opportunity Foundation (MAOF)

At the MAOF Telegraph Center, located in East Los Angeles, Monica supports early learning educators to give children a strong foundation for kindergarten and beyond. Monica begins by helping the educators she supports identify their strengths, and set goals and benchmarks for improvement. She uses the Quality Start LA ratings as the basis for these conversations, and helps the educators understand the elements of quality they are working towards.

Read Monica’s QSLA story

Tracy Huesca, Teacher, Lynwood Unified School District

Tracy Huesca wanted to make a difference in the world, so she went to school for a bachelor’s degree in social work while working as a bilingual assistant in a preschool classroom. She completed her degree and decided to stay in the early learning field. Her true passion was helping children grow and giving them a safe place to be themselves–she realized she was already making this impact as a preschool teacher.

Read Tracy’s QSLA story

Verline Rollins, Teacher, Drew Child Development Center – Rainbow Site

Twenty years ago, after an accident tore nine ligaments in her arm and left her unable to continue her previous career, Verline Rollins went back to school and found a new love: teaching. She is now a lead teacher at Drew Child Development Center in Compton. On a monthly basis, Verline’s QSLA coach meets with her to provide support, guidance, and resources to help Verline and her colleagues continue to learn new skills.

Read Verline’s QSLA story

Watch a video of Verline’s QSLA story

Lilit Barsegyan, Program Director, Armenian Relief Society (ARS)-Nairy Preschool & Day Care Center

Like many of her staff, Lilit Barsegyan never thought she’d have a career in early childhood education when she was completing a literature and journalism degree in her native Armenia. But a part-time job as a preschool teacher during graduate school and involvement in the Armenian Relief Society in Montebello, California, led her to become a founding director of the Society’s first preschool and day care. Quality Start LA has empowered and provided the way for Lillit and her staff to explore and grow in a profession that they hadn’t imagined before.

Read Lilit’s QSLA story

Graciela Ceja, Educator/Owner, Ceja Family Child Care

Ceja Family Child Care participates in Quality Start LA, but Graciela’s work to give the children in her neighborhood the best start possible doesn’t end with her own program. Graciela is doing her part to increase access to high-quality care in her community by helping others open their own quality family child care homes. She mentors others in her community through the licensing process and shares the with them the lessons she’s learned about creating high-quality early learning environments through Quality Start LA.

Read Graciela’s QSLA story

Watch a video of Graciela’s QSLA story