Comprehensive Early Learning Programs Espanol

¿Interesado en llevar su programa al siguiente nivel? ¡Únase a Quality Start LA hoy!

¿Tiene usted un centro de cuidado infantil que recibe fondos de CSPP?

¡Quality Start Los Ángeles está inscribiendo AHORA!

¡Inscríbase hoy!

NOTASi ya ha enviado una solicitud, su programa actualmente está en la lista de espera. Por favor, no envíe una nueva solicitud.

*Para cumplir con todas las pautas actuales de salud y seguridad, todos los servicios de capacitación y desarrollo profesional de QSLA se ofrecen virtualmente, hasta nuevo aviso.

Quality Start Los Ángeles (QSLA) ha hecho un compromiso para asegurar la equidad en el sistema de aprendizaje temprano en el condado de Los Ángeles. Como resultado, QSLA ha analizado los datos disponibles para identificar a las comunidades de mayor prioridad en dicho condado, en donde los esfuerzos de inscripción de QSLA se enfocarán. La meta de QSLA es asegurar que los recursos y servicios estén enfocados en los programas de educación temprana, y en las comunidades que tradicionalmente han recibido una distribución desigual o un acceso limitado a los apoyos y servicios programáticos.

Aunque los proveedores en comunidades no identificadas como de mayor prioridad podrán potencialmente inscribirse en QSLA, estamos ofreciendo acceso prioritario a los proveedores de las áreas designadas. Los espacios restantes serán ofrecidos a los solicitantes basados en los otros criterios de inscripción. Para conocer más sobre los criterios que usamos al inscribir nuevos programas en QSLA, haga clic aquí*.

  Haga clic aquí para PDF

  • Apoyo individual de un consejero/a altamente capacitado/a. Juntos, ustedes desarrollarán un plan personalizado de mejora de la calidad (QIP por sus siglas en inglés) el cual trazará las metas para ese año, con responsabilidad incorporada ¡para ayudarle a alcanzar esas metas!
  • Acceso ilimitado a oportunidades de desarrollo profesional de vanguardia, ¡disponible en inglés y en español por nuestros expertos de QSLA, así como nuestros muchos socios locales, estatales y nacionales!
  • Reciba una visión integral de su programa a través de un sistema oficial de calificación Quality Counts California basado en la Matriz de Calificación QCC ¡para ayudar a establecer las metas de mejora de calidad de su programa!
  • Asistencia técnica individualizada (TA por sus siglas en inglés) para preparar a su programa en el proceso de evaluación y calificación.
  • Oportunidades de aprendizaje entre colegas, de tal manera que usted pueda aprender y compartir sus éxitos y soluciones con compañeros/as proveedores/as de aprendizaje temprano.
  • Acceso a recursos de nuestros expertos/as, incluyendo consejos y herramientas de educadores de la familia y educadores de edad temprana.

¡Haga clic en las siguientes imágenes para descargar la versión PDF de estos volantes!

                                              

P. ¿Qué tipos de proveedores/as son elegibles para unirse al Modelo Integral de QSLA?

R. Cualquier centro de educación temprana con licencia que reciba fondos de CSPP puede solicitar participar en el Modelo Integral de QSLA. Su licencia debe estar al día por 6 meses antes de solicitar participar en QSLA. Ya sea que usted es un/a veterano/a en el campo del aprendizaje temprano o sea totalmente nuevo/a, ¡QSLA es para usted!

P. Si soy parte de una agencia que tiene ya varios centros participando en QSLA, ¿puedo completar una solicitud para los centros con fondos de CSPP que aún no estén participando? 

R.  Si. Nosotros alentamos a las agencias a completar una solicitud para todos los centros que aún no participen en QSLA, para ambos, con o sin fondos de CSPP. Si usted tiene un centro que no recibe fondos de CSPP, encuentre más información sobre el modelo QSLA aquí.

P.  ¿Puedo inscribirme si ya estaba inscrito/a previamente, pero me di de baja o ya no soy participante por alguna otra razón?

R. Usted puede reinscribirse en el Modelo Integral de QSLA siempre y cuando su centro aún tenga licencia, reciba fondos de CSPP, y esté al día por al menos 6 meses.

P.  Si previamente recibí una calificación de QSLA, pero me di de baja del programa, ¿tendré que ser calificado/a nuevamente?

R.  Si. Usted tendrá que ser calificado/a nuevamente; las calificaciones están basadas en el ambiente/entorno del aula, en las interacciones de los maestros/as, y en las capacidades del personal, las cuales cambian frecuentemente. La buena noticia es que una vez que ha sido calificado/a nuevamente, su nivel de calificación es valido por 3 años si usted recibe un Nivel 1-3, o por 5 años si recibe un Nivel 4-5.

P.  ¿Es este modelo de QSLA el mismo que requiere una evaluación de UCLA?

R.  Si. Este modelo de mejora de la calidad incluye una observación externa utilizando la Escala de Calificación Ambiental (ERS por sus siglas en inglés) y las herramientas CLASS (interacción maestro-niño) como parte del proceso de calificación de la calidad. Todos los proveedores/as de cuidado infantil financiados por CSPP recientemente inscritos en QSLA participarán en este nuevo modelo integral de evaluación.

 P.  ¿Están los incentivos de este modelo de QSLA basados en una calificación?

 R.  Si, los incentivos están basados en el nivel de calificación del centro infantil.

  • Nivel 2 los/as proveedores/as recibirán $2000 por cada centro
  • Nivel 3 los/as proveedores/as recibirán $4000 por cada centro
  • Nivel 4 los/as proveedores/as recibirán $6000 por cada centro
  • Nivel 5 los/as proveedores/as recibirán $8000 por cada centro

P.  ¿Son los incentivos otorgados individualmente por cada aula, o son otorgados para todo el centro infantil?

R.  Los incentivos son otorgados para todo el centro infantil.

P.  Tengo amigos cuyos centros están participando en QSLA, ¿en que difiere este modelo de QSLA de el de ellos?

R.  Hay algunas similitudes y diferencias entre este y el modelo para centros No financiados por CSPP y para centros infantiles basados en el hogar (FCCs) que participan en QSLA:

 Diferencias:

  • Evaluación formal: En este modelo de QSLA, hay una evaluación formal que incluye instrumentos de valoración como CLASS o la escala de calificación ERS, así como la sumisión de documentación. Los/as proveedores/as participantes en este modelo deben completar una evaluación de QSLA basada en la Matriz de Calificación QCC (enlace)
  • Publicar calificaciones: Todos los/as proveedores/as en este modelo tendrán sus calificaciones de QSLA publicadas en el sitio web de QSLA, tal como lo requiere Quality Counts California. La calificación de un centro es válida por 3 años (para centros con calificación Nivel 1-3), y por 5 años (para centros con calificación Nivel 4-5)
  • Programa de consejeros: Los programas de aprendizaje temprano recibirán apoyo extra de un/a consejero/a de QSLA. Proveedores/as de Nivel 1-3 recibirán al menos 6 visitas por año de un/a consejero/a, por cada aula del centro infantil. Los/as proveedores/as del Nivel 4-5 establecerán las metas y acciones de Mejora de la Calidad y se reunirán con su consejero/a de programa 2 veces por año para revisar y actualizar dichas metas y planes de acción.

Similitudes:

TODOS los/as proveedores/as de QSLA, sin importar en que modelo estén participando:

  • Tendrán acceso a los cursos de desarrollo profesional, talleres, y comunidades de aprendizaje de QSLA.
  • Tendrán acceso a los recursos digitales de QSLA, al contenido del sitio web, etc.
  • Desarrollarán un Plan de Mejora de la Calidad personalizado (QIP) y recibirán una revisión anual de un/a consejero/a capacitado/a de QSLA para dar seguimiento con el fin de proveer apoyo y orientación para alcanzar las metas.
  • Recibirán apoyo para crear un perfil en el Registro de la Fuerza Laboral de ECE de California el cual ayuda a educadores/as de la primera infancia a contabilizar las horas de desarrollo profesional y a identificar oportunidades continuas de capacitación.

P. ¿Cuánto tiempo tomará llenar la solicitud?

R. La solicitud debe tomar solamente unos 15 minutos y puede hacerse en partes. Si usted necesita detenerse al completar la solicitud, puede guardarla y comenzar otra vez cuando sea más conveniente.

P. ¿Qué debo hacer si tengo preguntas sobre el llenado de la solicitud?

R.  Las instrucciones para llenar la solicitud están disponibles aquí: Centro de aprendizaje temprano (inglés), Hogar de cuidado infantil familiar (español) (inglés)

P. ¿Existe una manera de verificar el estado de mi solicitud, o de actualizar mis datos u otra información después de haberla completado?

R.  Asegúrese de guardar su nombre de usuario y contraseña después de registrarse, los necesitará para verificar el estado de su solicitud y/o actualizar sus datos en este enlace: QSLA Solicitud

P. ¿Qué pasa después de enviar mi solicitud? ¿Cuáles son los siguientes pasos para mi inscripción?

R.  Una vez que su solicitud sea completada, usted recibirá una notificación de que ha sido agregado(a) a una lista de espera (por favor revise su carpeta SPAM, si no recibe tal notificación en la carpeta principal o bandeja de entrada de su correo electrónico). Si usted es elegido, será contactado para su inscripción en una fecha posterior.

Quality Start Los Angeles (QSLA) is Los Angeles’ county-wide system that partners with early learning providers to build upon and improve the quality of care they provide to children birth to five, ensuring children are nurtured in a high quality environment, ready for school, and prepared for life. 


Comprehensive Early Learning Programs

Interested in taking your program to the next level? Join Quality Start LA Today!

Are you a California State Preschool Program (CSPP)?

Quality Start Los Angeles is enrolling NOW!

Enroll today!

NOTE: If you have already submitted an application, you are currently on the waitlist. Please do not submit a new application.  Existing QSLA providers DO NOT need to submit a new application to continue participating. 

 

*To adhere with all current health and safety guidelines, all QSLA coaching and professional development services are being offered virtually, until further notice. 

Quality Start Los Angeles (QSLA) has made a commitment to ensure equity across the LA County early learning system. As a result, QSLA has analyzed available data to identify high priority communities in Los Angeles County where QSLA will focus its enrollment efforts. QSLA’s goal is to ensure that its resources and services are focused on the early learning programs and communities that have traditionally received an uneven distribution of, or limited access to, programmatic supports and services.

Although providers in communities not identified as highest priority will have the potential to enroll in QSLA, we are offering priority access to providers in the designated areas first. Remaining slots will be offered to applicants based on the other identified enrollment criteria. To learn more about the criteria we use for enrolling new sites to QSLA, click here*.

Click here for PDF of statement

  •  One-on-one support from a highly trained program coach. Together, you will develop a customized Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) which maps out your goals for the year, with built-in accountability to help you achieve these goals!
  • Unlimited access to cutting-edge professional development opportunities–offered in both English and Spanish, by our own QSLA experts as well as by our many state, local and national partners!
  • Receive a comprehensive snapshot of your program through an official Quality Counts California rating based on the QCC Rating matrix that will help you establish quality improvement goals for your site! 
  • Individualized technical assistance (TA) to prepare your site for the  assessment and rating process. 
  • Peer-to-peer learning opportunities, so you can learn alongside, and share successes and solutions with fellow early learning providers.
  • Access to  resources from our experts, including family and early educator tips and toolkits.

Click the image below to download the PDF version of this flyer! 

                                            

Q.  What types of providers are eligible to join QSLA’s Comprehensive Model?

A.  Any licensed CSPP-funded center can apply to QSLA’s Comprehensive Model.  Your license must be  in good standing for 6 months prior to submitting your QSLA application.  Whether you’re a veteran in the early learning field, or a brand new provider, QSLA is for you!

Q.  If I am part of an agency that has several sites already participating in QSLA, can I submit an application for those sites with CSPP funding not yet participating?

A. Yes, we encourage agencies to submit applications for all sites not yet participating in QSLA, both sites with and sites without CSPP funding.  If you have sites without CSPP funding, please learn more about that  QSLA model here.  

Q. Can I enroll  if I was previously in QSLA but withdrew or am no longer participating for other reasons?

A. Yes, you can re-enroll for QSLA’s Comprehensive Model, as long as you are still a licensed CSPP-funded center and  in good-standing for at least 6 months.

Q. If I previously received a QSLA rating, but then withdrew from the program, will I need to be rated again? 

 A. Yes, you will need to be rated again; ratings are based on classroom environments, teacher-interactions, and staff qualifications which often change.  The good news is, once you are rated again, your tier rating is valid for 3 years if you receive a Tier 1-3, or 5 years if you receive a tier 4-5. 

Q. Is this the same QSLA model that requires an assessment from UCLA?

A.Yes, this  quality improvement model does include external observations using the Environmental Rating Scale (ERS) and CLASS (teacher-child Interaction) tools as part of it’s  quality rating process. All CSPP-funded providers newly enrolled in QSLA will participate in this comprehensive, full-assessment model.

Q. Are the incentives for this QSLA model based on a rating?

A. Yes, incentives are based on site’s Tier Rating. 

  • Tier 2 providers will receive $2000 per site
  • Tier 3 providers will receive $4,000 per site
  • Tier 4 providers will receive $6000 per site
  • Tier 5 providers will receive $8,000 per site. 

Q. Are incentives awarded to individual classrooms at a center or are they awarded to the entire site?

A. Incentives are awarded to the entire site.  

Q. I have friends whose sites are participating in QSLA; how is this QSLA model different from theirs?

A. There are a few similarities and differences between this model and the one for non-CSPP-funded centers and Family Child Care homes (FCCs)  participating in QSLA:

  • Differences
    • Formal Assessment: In this QSLA mode,  there is a formal assessment,  that includes CLASS and Environment Rating Scale (ERS) assessments as well as other documentation submissions. Providers participating in this model must complete a QSLA Assessment based on the QCC Rating Matrix (link).
    • Posted Ratings: All providers in this model will have their QSLA ratings  posted on the QSLA website, as required by Quality Counts California. A site’s rating is valid for 3 years (for sites with a rating of Tier 1-3), and 5 years (for sites with rating of Tier 4-5). 
    • Program Coaching:  Early learning programs will receive extra support from a QSLA program coach. Tier 1-3 providers will receive at least 6 coaching visits per year, for each classroom at the site.  Tier 4 and 5 providers will establish site level Quality Improvement goals and action items and meet with their program coach bi-annually to review and update those goals and action plans.   
  • Similarities

      ALL QSLA providers, regardless of what model they are participating in, will:

    • Have access to ALL QSLA professional development trainings, workshops, and learning communities.
    • Have access to QSLA’s digital resources, website content, etc. 
    • Develop a customized Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) and receive a follow-up check-in each year to receive support and guidance from a trained QSLA coach on achieving those goals. 
    • Receive support when creating a profile on the California ECE Workforce Registry, which helps early educators track professional development training hours and identify on-going training opportunities.  

Q.  How long should the application take to complete?

A.  The application should take only about 15 minutes and can be done in parts.  If you need to stop working on the application, you can save and start again when it is more convenient. 

Q.  What do I do if I have questions about how to complete the application?

A.  Application instructions are available here: Center-Based Program (English), Family Child Care Home (Spanish) (English)

Q.  Is there a way to check the status of my application or update contact or other information after I’ve completed it?

A.  Be sure to save your username and password after registering – you will need this to check the status of your application and/or update contact information at this link: QSLA Application

Q.  What happens after I submit my application? What are next steps for my enrollment?

A.  Once your application is complete, you will receive a notification that you have been placed on a waitlist. (Please check your spam folder, if you do not receive this notification in your main e-mail folder) If selected, you will be contacted about your enrollment at a later date. 

 If your program is not chosen, you will also receive an e-mail notifying you that your site has not been selected but will remain on the waitlist for the next enrollment period. 

Quality Start Los Angeles (QSLA) is Los Angeles’ county-wide system that partners with early learning providers to build upon and improve the quality of care they provide to children birth to five, ensuring children are nurtured in a high quality environment, ready for school, and prepared for life. 


Enhancing Early Literacy Through Family Engagement

February 23rd, 2021, 6:21pm

Lea este artículo en español

Did you know: newborn babies have about 100 billion neurons? By the time they are 3 years old, babies have about 1,000 trillion connections between those neurons. The first three years of a child’s life are the most critical for speech and language development because this critical growth stage is when their brain is best able to absorb language.  

Research shows that reading, talking, and singing with children are the most important activities that families and early educators can do to support children’s early literacy skills. When it comes to reading to our little ones, just 15 minutes daily, starting at birth, can make a big difference! As babies learn language skills best through interactions, families and caregivers play a key role in a child’s brain development in these first years of life. 

Throughout our tip this month, we’ll highlight ways that you can support families, both in person and virtually, to build early literacy practices into their day-to-day interactions with their children at home. 

Strengthening Families Protective Factor: Supporting Knowledge of Parenting & Child Development Via Early Literacy Knowledge

As we work in partnership with families, we serve as a trusted source of information on what to expect for their child’s development and how to parent accordingly. As early educators, we can help strengthen families’ understanding of what early literacy milestones to expect and what is developmentally appropriate.  See below for some common milestones:

Age Range

Learning and Communicative Behaviors

Babies: Birthday to 12 Months

ü  Show what they think and feel by using their sounds, facial expressions, and body movements

ü  Learn to be good communicators when their caregivers respond to their sounds and actions

ü  Learn by playing!

ü  Learn to love books and reading when their caregivers read to them often

Young Toddlers: 12-24 Months

ü  Use more sounds and actions to let us know what they think and feel

ü  Learn to say many new words

ü  Benefit from hearing stories that help them learn the meaning of words and develop a love of reading.

ü  Can put together a few words, like “Mama, up?”

Older Toddlers: 24-36 Months

ü  Learn how to pretend; this is an important skill, particularly in building their imagination and thinking skills

ü  Can put words together to share their thoughts and feelings

ü  Learn how ideas are connected. This is the reason they ask “Why?” all the time!

Preschoolers: 3-5 Years

ü  Begin to understand that words are for sharing ideas and information

ü  Understand stories with plots. They can also tell us stories with a beginning, middle, and end.

ü  Imitate adult writing by scribbling, including making lines, squiggles, and circles

ü  Are figuring out how sounds make up works. They are also learning the names and shapes of letters.

For more detailed information on how to help children become confident readers and writers from birth by age categories, check out Zero To Three’s guide here.

Note: Each child is different and develops on their own timelines within the ranges above.  If you have any concerns about the development of a child in your care, please contact your local resource center or visit First 5 LA’s site.

Remember, teaching children between the ages of 0-5 yrs to read is not developmentally appropriate. According to Zero To Three’s research, it’s most important that children learn early literacy skills through enjoyment of books, literacy-rich experiences, and positive interactions with adults related to reading. In fact, formally teaching young children to read when they aren’t ready yet is counterproductive and may create negative associations between reading and books and failure.

Let's Discuss: Interview with a Children's Librarian

Ahead we have a 10-minute video interview with Joanna Fabicon, a Children’s Librarian with the Los Angeles Public Library. Joanna brings her expertise and experience to this video as she shares some common early literacy myths, family-friendly early literacy strategies, and how to make reading fun!

Want more tips from your local librarians?  Check out the Los Angeles Public Library’s Birth to 5 website for great early literacy programs, online books, physical book bundles to go, virtual pre-school events, booklists, fun games and more! All of these are free of charge with a Los Angeles Public Library card! These are great resources to use in both early education programs and for families at home.

Early Literacy Habits: Talk, Read, Sing, Write, Play

As Joanna shared in the video, Talk, Read, Sing, Write, Play are 5 key early learning habits that help prepare our children for reading and learning; they are “bridges” to literacy. Let’s break these habits down, based on this article:

  • Sing: Singing is a great way to learn about language. When we sing, the sounds that make up words become clearer.
  • Talk: Children need to receive and create language to learn it.
  • Read: Share books together! More detail is shared in the next section.
  • Write: Scribble, draw, and make tactile art. Scribbles come before adult writing!
  • Play: Children experience the world through play, which in turns builds their fine and gross motor skills, cognition, language and social skills.

Read this creative article Sing, Talk, Read, Write, Play: Building Early Literacy Skills for great in-depth examples for each type of activity that are suitable for children of all abilities!

How Can We Share These Best Practices with Families:

No matter which method we use to engage families in at-home early literacy activities, we must always make sure that resources are culturally responsive, reflective of the families we serve and as much as possible, available in the home languages of our families. See the resources at the end of this tip for some great on-line resources to support your efforts!

Virtually:

  • E-mail or text links to age appropriate Read-Alouds that families can enjoy together
  • Share early literacy resources, such as First 5 CA’s
  • Create a video of an early educator at your program sharing tips for reading aloud to young children (i.e. using fun voices, stopping to ask questions or look at pictures, explaining new vocabulary, etc.) and send it to families
  • Host a virtual family meeting focused on age appropriate early literacy activities (i.e. serve return for infants/toddlers, sound scavenger hunts for preschoolers, singing songs, telling stories, and the importance of reading aloud for 15 minutes every day) . For information on how to host virtual events for families, check out our Family Engagement Webinar YouTube video on the matter!
  • Share information about virtual story-times and activities from local libraries

In Person (following health and safety COVID 19 procedures):

  • Create a lending library: As not all families can afford books, allow families to borrow books each week
  • Send home a flyer or newsletter with family literacy activities or read-aloud tips
  • Print out a story for families to take home along with a craft to accompany the story (i.e. a short book and a puppet cutout or related craft)
  • We can also support families by modeling these behaviors through everyday actions, intentional programming, and connecting them to accessible resources.
  • For more direct approaches, we can speak with families at end-of-day check-in or during family conferences.
  • (Post COVID) Host in-person workshops on early literacy topics, with hands on activities and resources

Talking Points for Families: The Importance of Reading at Home

As early educators, we understand the importance of reading to children from birth, but we cannot assume that everyone has that knowledge.  Thus, it is important that we explain to our families, why early literacy skills and reading aloud (even for infants) is an essential habit that can have a huge effect on their child’s development. Below are some of the key “Why”s of at-home reading that we can share with our families:

  • Language Development: The number of words children know upon entering kindergarten is a key predictor of success.
  • Instilling a Love of Reading: A family’s example demonstrates that reading is important, pleasurable, and valued.
  • Knowledge Gained and Shared: Books are informative; families can learn with their children as they read, showing that learning is a family value
  • Literacy Skill Building: Reading aloud builds vocabulary, phonics (the relationship between sounds and letters), and grammar skills, helps children become familiar with printed texts, develops storytelling, imagination and comprehension skills
  • Brain Development: Children develop critical language skills from birth to age 3, so it’s important to take advantage of their brain’s incredible growth and connection-building during this period.
  • Bonding: Sharing a story, cuddling, and connecting over newfound knowledge through reading further strengthens a family’s bond with their child.

Most importantly, we need to support and build the confidence of our families in their role of being their child’s first and most valuable teacher. Through the strong, supportive relationships that we build with families, we can create a home-school connection that benefits both the family and the child in developing life-long skills.

Literacy and Dual-Language Learners

How Can We Support Families of Dual Language Learners with Early Literacy at Home?

Many of our programs serve diverse families who speak languages other than English at home. It’s important to consider what we know about a family’s language usage at home and how we can support their child’s language development in English as well as in their home language(s). Some facts about supporting the early literacy development of dual language learning that are worth noting:

  1. Exposure to both languages daily: Dual language learners benefit most when they similar amounts of exposure to high-quality input in each language everyday – speaking and listening. Children will often learn foundational skills in one language which makes it easier to transfer them to a second.
  2. Grammar takes time: Children learning two languages might use words from both languages in the same sentence or confuse grammar rules. This is a normal part of Being a dual language learner. Children often learn their home language grammar first and then their second language.
  3. Speaking in two languages is difficult: Some children may not talk much when they start using a second language. This “silent period” can last for several months. This is normal and will evolve as the child feels more comfortable in both languages.
  4. Children can successfully learn two languages: Learning more than one language at the same time is not confusing to young children. Rather, it helps them develop multiple, but inter-related, language systems. It also increases their brain function. Switching between languages gives children an increased ability to monitor their environment more efficiently.

In working with families, we should encourage them to speak their home language at home with the comfort of knowing we will incorporate supports for the home language in our early education programs as well. Some ways families and early educators help children develop dual-language skills include:

  • Reading books in different languages.
  • Listening to music in different languages. Listening to songs over and over again helps children learn and understand words.
  • Pointing and describing the world around children in multiple languages. Programs can label items in more than one language including toys, animals, colors, etc.
  • Inviting children to share their expertise and share how to say a new word in their home language.
  • Allowing children to discuss a topic or learn a new skill in whichever language they prefer, while supporting their development of new vocabulary and content understanding in their second language.

Dig Deep: Consider checking out the ECE Competencies video on Dual-Language Development for more information and inspiration; some topics include: dual-language program models and strategies, development of the home language and of English, and relationships with families of dual-language learners.

Early Literacy Resources

  • Check out these ready-to-use resources for early education programs and family homes!
  • Check out the wide variety of QSLA’s Early Literacy Resources, offered in English and Spanish; including an Early Literacy Toolkit with guidance on how to create reading routines, bring in fun, create a book nook, & storytelling!
  • QSLA also offers a variety of themed booklists on topics including culture, traditions, feelings, holidays, and history – in English & Spanish!
  • QSLA has 2 Reading Strategies from Classroom to Home infographics – with guidance for early educators and families in both English and Spanish!
  • LA County Public Library offers story time (virtually for the time being), parent-child workshops, and a rich variety of virtual resources through Tumblebook Library!
  • Colorín Colorado shares resources for families and early educators – including guides, links to other resources by state, reading tips and English Language Learner information, all in Spanish and English!
  • Reading Rocket’s Preschool page has great informational resources for reading and writing reading readiness including articles, developmentally-appropriate activities, booklists, developmental milestones, and more – great for both early educators and families seeking understanding and guidance!
  • ReadAloud.org – 15 Read Aloud Tips for Babies and Toddlers. Check out their downloads page for tips, posters, infographics, bookmarks, parent handouts, and more!
  • Looking for a read aloud videos? Check out Storytime with Ryan & Craig and ONSCR!

As we already incorporate reading and early literacy in our work as early educators, this is a pivotal chance to intentionally engage families as part of each child’s education team. On that note, there are some great opportunities coming up where we can tie in early literacy skills with our family engagement programming including:

Let’s keep building young children’s early literacy skills through teamwork and creativity alongside their families!

Sources

Cristina Espinoza
Family Education Coordinator, Quality Start Los Angeles

Cristina Espinoza has worked as a family and youth development professional for 5 years, including having served as a Peace Corps Volunteer as a youth development promoter in Costa Rica. Alongside Quality Start Los Angeles, Cristina is passionate about supporting families to feel empowered in the changing landscape of their surroundings with their children’s wellbeing at the forefront.  She is a champion of strengths-based systems and services that build resilient families and youth.


Creating More Mindful Family Engagement Practices

January 27, 2021, 12:54pm

Lee esta artículo en español 

As we start out this new year, we find ourselves worn out from the emotional toll that 2020 brought. A pandemic, financial challenges, social distancing, a difficult election, a racial reckoning – it was a hard year to say the least. However, in spite of, or possibly as a result of, the challenges, many positive changes occurred as well, such as creative community-building and a greater sense of universal compassion. As we all try to manage the highs and lows of this prolonged crisis and stress, we seek out ways to find balance and bring about any sense of peace and normalcy, for a few minutes or a few hours, amid the everyday stressors.  This is where mindfulness can help us and the families that we serve

Finding ways to best manage these challenges is what inspired a new series of family engagement posts related to trauma-informed care. Trauma results from the exposure to an incident or series of events that are emotionally disturbing or life-threatening with lasting adverse effects on the individual’s mental, physical, social, emotional, and/or spiritual wellbeing. Trauma-informed care understands and considers the pervasive nature of trauma and promotes environments of healing and recovery rather than those that may unintentionally re-traumatize.

The most important factor in reducing the effects of trauma is that children and families have loving, supportive and encouraging adults who support them in times of need. As early childhood professionals, we have the power to be the loving, safe, and consistent caregivers and educators our families need.

Each tip we share in this series will highlight a particular trauma-informed practice. This month, we focus on how we can bring mindfulness to ourselves and to our family engagement practices as a tool to support trauma informed practices.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is defined as moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, characterized mainly by “acceptance”—paying attention to thoughts and feelings without trying to determine whether they are “right or wrong”.

Here are some commonly used terms when discussing mindfulness. You may see these throughout the rest of this tip.

  • Internal Awareness – Also known as self-awareness. This describes how clearly we understand our own values, passions, aspirations, fit with our environment, reactions (including thoughts, feelings, behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses), and impact on others.
  • Internal Awareness Practice – an exercise, habit, or activity that helps us connect with our inner world, taking time to recognize, reflect, and/or experiment. These practices are linked to improved emotional, mental, and physical health as well as increased success in our professional roles. Here are some practices we can use for ourselves.
  • Holding Space – a practice of empathy and compassion that helps us put our needs and opinions aside and allow someone to just be and share their feelings. This allows us to create a safe environment for others. Honor any negative emotions (i.e. sadness, anger, fear) by letting the other individual know that their sharing is a sign of strength and courage. Check out this article for more information. For families, taking the time to honor and acknowledge what they are experiencing can be priceless.

For many of us, it seems like a daunting task to take time during the day to stop and be mindful when there is so much else to do, like lead a classroom or program full of young children.  However, it doesn’t have to be.  Making time to bring mindfulness into our lives can be as simple as:

  • Setting an intention for the day (What do you want to accomplish? How do you want to be?)
  • A 5-minute Breathing meditation
  • 10 minutes of Yoga
  • Being present, breathing deep, and encouraging ourselves while driving
  • Eating with all of our 5 senses attuned to the experience and our body’s reactions

With busy schedules and lives, we can find ourselves moving on autopilot and focusing on completing our responsibilities, troubleshooting what may arise. When we bring mindfulness into our lives, we connect with our present once more and hold space for ourselves, where we can recognize and manage emotions that come forward. When our cup is full, we can more fully engage with families – especially those that have experienced traumas themselves. These interactions with families, virtual or in-person, can serve as healthy spaces for families to feel safe, slow down, and bring awareness to themselves and their surroundings.

Mindful Strategies

Here are some strategies for how we can begin using mindful practices in our own lives and in interactions with families:

  • Listen actively –pay attention to the verbal and body language that families are expressing; listen with the goal to understand, not respond
  • Be present – use our body language, such as good eye contact and posture, while pausing other tasks and stopping distractions, to fully take in conversations
  • Use the power of observation – connect with families by objectively observing and narrating what you see in their behavior and language. This approach can have grounding and affirming results when we highlight the strengths the child and family show us in their actions, words, feelings, and body language. (See box for more details)
  • Hold space for what is occurring and the resulting emotions through an open conversation in a comfortable environment. What is the family experiencing? How do the family feel?
    • In particular, identify “negative” emotions – sadness, anger, frustration, etc. – and highlight that feeling and expressing these emotions does not make a person weak. If anything, it takes courage and strength to open up and bring those emotions forward, especially when our society can often promote an idea that struggling is a sign of failure. This can be incredibly powerful message for families to receive.

Using the Power of Observation:

This tool focuses on slowing down and connecting with families through the child’s behavior.

    1) Observe – What is the child doing? What facial expressions can we see?
    2) Narrate – Describe what you see using detail and leaving out opinions.

    3) Pause for the family’s response – Take a moment for the family to reflect, feel seen, simply react to what they see and hear about their child.  

  • Use internal awareness practices – these can be done individually, in partners, or in a group. We can offer these practices in person or virtually; especially using options like Zoom, YouTube, etc. During this time of social distancing, we can also adapt these practices for in-person settings; each individual can spread out 6+ feet apart while wearing a mask and feel part of the practice. These practices can help us get in tune with our thoughts, sensations, and emotions. Some practices include:
    • Grounding and orienting exercises – use our senses to help us feel calm, settled, and focused
    • Breathing practices – focused attention on our breath brings us back to the present moment
    • Gratitude and joy – making a list of what brings us joy or appreciation creates a positive shift in our mindset
    • Play – games with adults and/or children energize us and bring joy and lightness to our shared environments

Check out more examples of mindfulness exercises for families here. If you prefer a video, here is one with mindfulness exercises for families!

Why Is Mindfulness Important?

Mindfulness has proven to be a valuable approach for reducing the symptoms of trauma. As Dr. Jason Linder shares here, the essence of trauma is not based in the here-and-now; rather, it keeps us stuck in the past or constantly fearing the future. By practicing mindfulness, those of us who have experienced trauma can shift our perspective back to our present and heal from past experiences. Some specific benefits to using mindfulness include increased ability to focus and decreased stress and anxiety all of which can help reduce trauma-related symptoms.   

Mindfulness as a Resource for Enhanced Family Engagement

When we have taken the time to learn how to incorporate mindfulness into our own daily routines, we are able to better understand how more mindful practices could enhance our interactions with others, including our own families, co-workers, and the families that we serve. As we seek to build our family engagement culture on a strength-based approach, guided by the Strengthening Families Protective Factors, there are natural connections between Mindfulness and two key Factors: Parental Resilience and Social-Emotional Development of Children.

For a quick overview of the Strengthening Families Protective Factors, please see our Family Engagement Tip from May 2020.

Mindfulness and parental resilience

The families we serve are managing as best they can, pushing forward through these unprecedented times. Just like us, it is impossible to prevent the strong emotions associated with everyday stressors from spilling out in a way that children may notice and feel affected. As part of a family’s support system, our responsive relationships and demonstration of mindful practices with families can help build secure, trusting relationships that can buffer children from stress and support families’ ability to be resilient in the face of challenges. Two great mindfulness activities for families are (1) expressing gratitude before a meal and (2) sense exploration where family members tune into all five senses as they eat, play, walk, etc.; taking in what they see, smell, touch, taste, and hear. These are two examples of mindfulness exercises that support families in recognizing and managing their emotions so they can be resilient in the facing challenges. The mindful techniques that we share with families formally and informally will help support their ability to use them in the future as well as enhance our relationships with those we serve.

Mindfulness as a key for social emotional development

Incorporating and demonstrating mindfulness strategies when engaging with families also helps us support them with another Strengthening Families Protective Factor – the social and emotional development of their child(ren). When children see that we have a trusting and positive relationship with their adult family members it signals to children that they can feel safe trusting and relating to their early educators, thus opening the door to receiving support in identifying, labeling, and better understanding their emotions. When we model mindfulness with families, we simultaneously model social emotional regulation by showing how to slow down, gain awareness of our emotions, and use techniques to manage challenging emotions.

Opportunities to Bring Mindfulness into Staff and Family Interactions

Bringing mindfulness into staff gatherings can positively affect a program’s culture, extending as far as decreasing personal and work-related stress & improving staff bonds.  This can have a positive effect on family-staff interactions, as well. As we have covered in previous family engagement tips in 2019 and 2020, modeling and incorporating program-wide practices with both staff and families through parallel processes can create larger and lasting impacts.

Here are a few examples of how programs of varying sizes can integrate mindfulness into existing staff and family interactions

By modeling these behaviors, site leadership is telling staff and families that it’s okay to take care of yourself at work and when at home caring for children. Consider what your program and staff can comfortably implement with your families.

As our work makes us all too aware of the traumas and challenges families regularly encounter, we also have the power to incorporate these types of mindful, healing practices in our work to support those we serve. Using mindfulness techniques helps us slow down and support families in softening the rough edges of life’s difficulties and the ensuing emotions.

Check out the links below for additional information and great resources!

Resources

Sources

Cristina Espinoza
Family Education Coordinator, Quality Start Los Angeles

Cristina Espinoza has worked as a family and youth development professional for 5 years, including having served as a Peace Corps Volunteer as a youth development promoter in Costa Rica. In conjunction with Quality Start Los Angeles, Cristina is passionate about supporting families to feel empowered in the changing landscape of their surroundings with their children’s wellbeing at the forefront.  She is a champion of strengths-based systems and services that build resilient families and youth.


Holiday Activities

Quality Start LA Holiday Activity Guides//Guías de actividades

Holidays present an excellent opportunity to introduce high-quality early learning moments. Click on each image below to download a PDF and follow the links. 

Los días festivos presentan una oportunidad excelente para introducir momentos de aprendizaje temprano de alta calidad. Haga clic en cada imagen para descargar un PDF y siga los enlaces.

January//Enero

February//Febrero

March//Marzo

April//Abril

May//Mayo

June//Junio

July//Julio

September//Septiembre

October//Octubre

November//Noviembre

Looking for more great resources?//¿Busca más recursos geniales?

Browse Quality Start LA child-friendly activities and booklists. // Heche un vistazo a las actividades y listas de libros adecuados para niños/as de Quality Start Los Ángeles. 


Supporting Families with Concrete Support in Challenging Times

December 15, 2020, 11:11am

Lee esta artículo en español

Back in May, we looked at the Strengthening Families Framework and its relation to our Family Engagement work. As you may recall, it is grounded in taking a strengths-based approach to working with families, where relationship-building is intentional and based on trust. A key component is the idea of approaching family engagement with collaboration in mind, working together towards reaching a mutual set of goals that support the long-term success of our children and families.

                This month, we focus on a specific Strengthening Families Protective Factor: Concrete Support in Times of Need.

Concrete support refers to resources and services that address a family’s needs and help to minimize the stress caused by difficult challenges and adversity. This type of support helps to ensure that families have access to the necessities that everyone deserves to grow up healthy and have the opportunity for a successful life.

Concrete supports come in many forms, including:

Strengthening Families Via Concrete Support

Raising a child and supporting a stable family environment requires families to meet numerous basic needs such as food, clothing, housing, and transportation to health and child care. In normal times, this is a lot to manage for many of the families we serve, but these challenges are even greater now. 

When the adults in a family are stressed, this often causes stress in the children as well. However, when the support systems in a family’s life, such as friends, family members, educators, etc. provide information and connections to available resources that aid families in meeting their basic needs, it gives the family a great opportunity to find equilibrium and further thrive.

Why is it important for early educators to share concrete supports?

  • Early educators have greater opportunities to support families’ needs earlier in life, when chances to affect long-term change are greatest.
  • Early educators often engage more with families, due to the young age of the children; this allows for increased opportunities to build strong relationship with families and for families to feel more comfortable communicating when they need supports.

Opting for a Perspective vs. Prescriptive Approach

 A prescriptive approach is one where we try to “diagnose” what we see is “wrong”

  • Our biases come into play
  • We reach ideas or solutions without including them

 With a perspective approach, we seek to take a family’s point of view

  • We consider their reality & think about their influences
  • Interactions become strengths-based and collaborative in seeking a solutioP

"Families don't care what you know, until they know that you care."

Incorporating Family Voice

 

Determine families’ needs:  It is important to gather information directly from families as to what kinds of resources or services they need. You can use formal and informal methods to conduct a needs-assessment (see the link at end of this article for some examples). Other ways to gather this information include surveys, conversations at pick-up time, phone calls, a drop-box, etc.

Take inventory of your families’ local knowledge: Families often have a wealth of knowledge about community resources, in addition to a valuable perspective. Ask them what other ideas or resources they know about and are worth sharing with other families. What resources/supports already exist in the community level that you may not be aware of? This same effort can be made with your program staff, who may live locally. 

Be creative and collaborative: What communication methods have worked with families to share resources? Would hearing about another family’s success story in using a specific support encourage other families to explore more resources themselves? Keep in mind that when it comes to communicating with families, using multiple communication methods (i.e. text, e-mail, newsletter, social media, workshop, personal recommendation, etc.) helps ensure that all families are reached.

See the table below for ideas of how family voice can be involved at different levels. (Click image for PDF)

This method of engaging with families empowers their voice in addition to highlighting their community-based knowledge and bonds with other families.  Based on the information gathered from families, we are now able to provide resources and supports to meet families’ needs more intentionally and effectively.

 

Sharing Resources in a Strengths-Based Way

As a general goal when working with families through a strengths-based approach, it is important to recognize what we bring to the interaction: our own ideas, biases, expectations, assumptions, emotions, judgement, etc. A strengths-based approach considers a family’s reality, taking their perspective. This is where taking a perspective vs. prescriptive approach in working with families is essential to shifting towards a strengths-based mindset.

Parents and families need experiences that enable them to understand their rights in accessing services, gain knowledge of relevant services and learn how to navigate through service systems. In working as family and child-serving programs, it is important to clearly communicate to parents that seeking help is not an indicator of weakness or failure as a parent.

Here are some tips for using a strengths-based approach to sharing resources with the families we serve:

  • Use kind and reassuring tone
  • Share resources in a positive way, that encourages the family to learn more
  • Be both proactive and reactive; Reactive: assist families with immediate needs and Proactive: share valuable resources with all families in case others need the resource in the future.
  • Make sure to share requested resources, not resources we may assume they need.
  • Offer a private environment to speak, for their comfort and sense of safety (i.e. offer families a private room onsite to discuss needs, and call or e-mail supports)
  • Go the extra mile to make the first connection between a parent/caregiver and a resource via a phone call, video call, or email, to help them begin navigating how to use the resource
  • Follow up to see how the family’s experience with a resource turned out and if there are any additional ways we can provide support.

Providing families with support in a positive and strength-based way can help avoid adding stress to an already stressful situation and continue to build an even stronger relationship with the families we work with.

 

Methods of Sharing Information: In Person and Virtually

Once a needs-assessment is complete that includes family input, more relevant concrete supports can be shared. Some key points to consider when sharing resource information with families:

  • Have resources available in multiple places – online and in person, via social media, program website, etc.
  • Increase access by using different formats – consider different options such as flyers, text messages, videos, bulletin boards, podcasts, PDFs, etc.
  • Keep it short and sweet – making the effort to be concise, clear, offer relevant information, and one main action point per message
  • Translate for the target audience! – Ensure that communication methods include multiple languages as needed for the families served. Double check translations with a human or reliable sites like wordreference.com. Do not rely solely on Google Translate!
  • Ensure the program team is onboard – make sure they have knowledge about the information being shared so they can answer questions if families reach out to them directly about a particular resource
  • Update resource information regularly and make sure program staff is aware of updates. It helps to have a staff member to manage these periodic updates and designate time in staff meetings for them to be updated.

In these pandemic times, a hybrid of in person and digital communication resources are often our best bet. If you’re interested in a sample breakdown of how both in-person and digital communication methods can be incorporated in programs of various levels, see below. (Click image for PDF)

As with any approach, consider what your program and staff can sustainably implement for your families.

 

Concrete Support for Families in LA County

Here is a round-up of resources that families can use, for both difficult and normal times:

  • Click here for a resource infographic with information about: Support Hubs, Food Support, Housing Assistance and Employment and Legal Assistance
  • Click here for a resource infographic with information about Transportation, Mental and Physical Health, Domestic Violence/Abuse, and Regional Supports (Long Beach and Antelope Valley)

For more ideas on how you can provide concrete support to the families you serve, read Concrete Support in Times of Need (Center for the Study of Social Policy). Page 7 & 8 include more information as well as questions for a needs-assessment.

The approach we use to connect families to concrete supports is pivotal in developing a family’s knowledge of and ability to maneuver within support systems. A supported, connected family becomes a more resilient and successful family.

If you have a resource that you do not see listed here, please email me a link to the recommended resource at: Cristina.Espinoza@ccala.net.

Watch the Lunch & Learn Webinar on this Family Engagement Tip!

Supporting Families with Concrete Support in Challenging Times

February 2, 2021

This webinar will explore concrete supports and ways of supporting families in challenging times.

Cristina Espinoza
Family Education Coordinator, Quality Start Los Angeles

Cristina Espinoza has worked as a family and youth development professional for 5 years, including having served as a Peace Corps Volunteer as a youth development promoter in Costa Rica. In conjunction with Quality Start Los Angeles, Cristina is passionate about supporting families to feel empowered in the changing landscape of their surroundings with their children’s wellbeing at the forefront.  She is a champion of strengths-based systems and services that build resilient families and youth.


Read from the Start – Current Month en Espanol

Read from the Start

Lee en inglés

 

Read from the Start – Quality Start LA se ha unido con el Sistema de la Biblioteca Pública de Los Ángeles (LAPL por sus siglas en ingles), el Sistema de Biblioteca del Condado de Los Ángeles (LACL por sus siglas en ingles) ,  la Biblioteca pública de Pasadena y Sesame Street in Communities para traerle “Read from the Start.

Cada mes, QSLA y sus sistemas de bibliotecas locales trabajarán juntos para desarrollar una lista de libros temática, consejos de lectura y actividades familiares, todo diseñado para familias con niños desde recién nacidos a cinco años. Haga clic en las listas de libros Read From the Start a continuación para descargar una de las listas en formato PDF.

Septiembre 2021: La importancia de la comunidad

Lista de libro mensual: ¡Para imprimir y compartir!

Haga clic en las siguientes imágenes para descargar el PDF de las listas de libros, o siga hasta la parte inferior de la página para encontrar todos los libros en su biblioteca pública, Biblioteca del condado de Los Angeles y la Biblioteca Pública de Pasadena.

Haga clic a las imágenes debajo para descargar las versiones PDF 

 

Actividad Familiar: Ayudando a nuestra comunidad

Hasta nuestros ciudadanos más pequeños pueden aprender a mostrar empatía y lo que significa ser parte de una comunidad. La siguiente actividad destaca varias formas en que podemos apoyar a nuestros pequeños para que aprendan y participen en nuestras comunidades.  Ayudele a su hijo/a a pensar en un problema en su comunidad que necesita solución y a decidir algo que ustedes puedan hacer al respecto. Por ejemplo:

  • Muchas personas no tienen suficiente comida: Donar comida extra a una despensa de comida o comedor comunitario
  • Muchas personas no tienen hogares permanentes: Empacar “botiquines de cuidado” y llevarlos a un refugio para personas sin hogar. Utilice bolsas autosellantes e incluya artículos como bálsamo labial, aperitivos de una sola porción, toallitas húmedas, cepillo de dientes y pasta dental, calcetines, agua embotellada, un cepillo de pelo, etc.
  • Muchas personas no tienen suficientes máscaras para mantenerse a salvo de los gérmenes: Hacer máscaras, decorarlas y regalarlas a los miembros de la comunidad.
  • Muchos animales no tienen hogar: Donar comida para mascotas, arena para gatos, colchas viejas o juguetes a un refugio de animales.
  • Muchas organizaciones que ayudan a otros a necesitar dinero para hacer su trabajo: Hornear galletas para una venta de comida que recauda dinero para una caridad.
Esta actividad está inspirada por la actividad de Sesame Street en las Comunidades, “Pequeños vecinos voluntarios:Voluntariado, ¡Yo lo voy a hacer!

Para más actividades relacionadas con la alfabetización, haga clic en los enlaces que aparecen a continuación para involucrar a los niños en las historias y mantener activas sus mentes y cuerpos pequeños.

Cuentos y Actividades ASL(Lenguaje gestual Americano por sus siglas en inglés)

Sesamo

Haga clic en los siguientes enlaces para ver más libros disponibles para leer en voz alta de:

Read Conmigo: Libros bilingües gratuitos para niños y recursos de alfabetización para niños preescolar hasta quinto grado

Spanishprofe.com: Canales de YouTube que tienen muchos libros leídos en voz alta en español que atraerían a los estudiantes de Kindergarten, primer y segundo grado

Spanishmama.com: Una colección de historias bilingüe y en español en línea y para leer en voz alta.

Consejo de lectura familiar: Leer todo el tiempo

Haga de la lectura una parte de su rutina diaria. Cuando usted está en el carro o afuera caminando, cuéntele a su niño/a historias y pídale que cree una parte de la historia, cuanto más imaginativo mejor! Señale los letreros en los edificios y dígale a su niño/a lo que dicen. Lo más importante, asegúrese de apartar tiempo para acurrucarse y disfrutar de un buen libro juntos.

¡Saque estos libros en su biblioteca local!

Encuentre los libros de este mes disponibles para descarga digital en su biblioteca local o para lectura en voz alta en Youtube.

Acceda a más listas de libros de nuestro archivo Read from the Start

¿Busca más recursos excelentes?

Explore la colección de lista de libros, QSLA y LA libreria lista de libros, guía de actividades para niñosrecursos de coronavirus, y guía de actividades navideñas de Quality Start LA.


Fundamental Early Learning Programs-Spanish

¿Interesado en llevar su programa al siguiente nivel? ¡Únase a Quality Start LA hoy mismo!

¿Tiene usted un hogar de cuidado infantil familiar o un centro de cuidado infantil que no recibe fondos de CSPP?

¡Quality Start Los Ángeles está inscribiendo AHORA!

¡Inscríbase hoy!

NOTA: Si ya ha enviado una solicitud, su programa actualmente está en la lista de espera. Por favor, no envíe una nueva solicitud.

Para cumplir con todas las pautas actuales de salud y seguridad, todos los servicios de capacitación y desarrollo profesional de QSLA se ofrecen virtualmente, hasta nuevo aviso.

Quality Start Los Ángeles (QSLA) ha hecho un compromiso para asegurar la equidad en el sistema de aprendizaje temprano en el condado de Los Ángeles. Como resultado, QSLA ha analizado los datos disponibles para identificar a las comunidades de mayor prioridad en dicho condado, en donde los esfuerzos de inscripción de QSLA se enfocarán. La meta de QSLA es asegurar que los recursos y servicios estén enfocados en los programas de educación temprana, y en las comunidades que tradicionalmente han recibido una distribución desigual o un acceso limitado a los apoyos y servicios programáticos.

Aunque los proveedores en comunidades no identificadas como de mayor prioridad podrán potencialmente inscribirse en QSLA, estamos ofreciendo acceso prioritario a los proveedores de las áreas designadas. Los espacios restantes serán ofrecidos a los solicitantes basados en los otros criterios de inscripción. Para conocer más sobre los criterios que usamos al inscribir nuevos programas en QSLA, haga clic aquí*.

  Haga clic aquí para PDF

  • Apoyo individual de un consejero altamente capacitado. Juntos, ustedes desarrollarán un plan personalizado de mejora de la calidad (Quality Improvement Plan o QIP) el cual trazará las metas para ese año, con responsabilidad incorporada ¡para ayudarlo a alcanzar esas metas!
  • Acceso ilimitado a oportunidades de desarrollo profesional de vanguardia, ¡disponible en inglés y en español!
  • Capacitación y asistencia técnica ajustada a las áreas de interés específicas de su programa.
  • Acceso a las series de capacitación autoguiadas de QSLA, las cuales incluyen temas tales como:
    • Pruebas de evaluación del desarrollo y crecimiento
    • Desarrollo profesional
    • Interacción efectiva maestro-niño
    • Ambiente/entorno del programa
    • Liderazgo del programa
    • Compromiso familiar
    • Diversidad, inclusión y equidad
    • Atención plena y cuidado personal
  • Oportunidades de aprendizaje entre colegas, de tal manera que usted pueda aprender y compartir sus éxitos y soluciones con compañeros proveedores de aprendizaje temprano.
  • Incentivos financieros, ($600/sitio, anualmente) basados en la disponibilidad de fondos.
  • Una autoevaluación para guiar los servicios que recibirá de QSLA. No se requiere una evaluación formal.

Haga clic a las imágenes debajo para descargar la versión PDF de estos folletos.

                                                                                          

P¿Puedo inscribirme en este nuevo modelo de QSLA si mi programa ya es participante de QSLA?

R. No. Esta oportunidad es exclusivamente para los programas de aprendizaje temprano que no están inscritos actualmente en QSLA.

P.¿Qué tipos de proveedores pueden calificar para QSLA?

R. Cualquier hogar de cuidado infantil familiar con licencia o centro no financiado por el estado (sin financiamiento de CSPP) puede solicitar QSLA. Usted debe tener licencia y estar al día por 6 meses antes de solicitar participar en QSLA. Ya sea que haya estado en el campo del aprendizaje temprano por 6 meses o 20 años, ¡QSLA es para usted!

P. ¿Puedo inscribirme en este nuevo modelo de mejora de la calidad de QSLA si ya estaba inscrito previamente, pero me di de baja o ya no soy participante por alguna otra razón?

R. Si. Usted puede reinscribirse a QSLA si aún es un centro no financiado por el estado (sin financiamiento de CSPP) o un hogar de cuidado infantil familiar con licencia y está al día por al menos 6 meses.

P. ¿Es este modelo de QSLA el mismo que requiere una evaluación de UCLA?

R. No. Este nuevo modelo de mejora de la calidad no incluye una observación externa, ni tampoco otorga una calificación de la calidad. Todos los proveedores de cuidado infantil familiar (FCC, por sus siglas en inglés) y proveedores no financiados por CSPP recientemente inscritos en QSLA, participarán en este nuevo modelo.

P. Tengo amigos cuyos programas participan en QSLA, ¿en que difiere este modelo de QSLA y el de ellos?

R. Hay algunas similitudes y diferencias entre el modelo para programas financiados por CSPP, para FCCs o para centros privados que ya participan en QSLA:

Diferencias:

  1. No existe evaluación formal en este modelo de QSLA que incluya instrumentos de valoración como CLASS o la escala de calificación ERS, ni otra documentación. Los proveedores participantes en este modelo solamente completarán una autoevaluación.
  2. Este modelo está enfocado en las necesidades de su programa y podría no necesariamente enfocarse en los elementos de calificación de calidad de California (Quality Counts California Rating Matrix).
  3. Los proveedores participantes en este modelo tendrán acceso a nuestra nueva serie de aprendizaje virtual “Hablemos de calidad”.

 

Similitudes:

  1. Todos los proveedores de QSLA tienen acceso a los cursos de desarrollo profesional, talleres y comunidades de aprendizaje de QSLA
  2. Todos los proveedores de QSLA tendrán acceso a los recursos digitales, al contenido del sitio web, etc.
  3. Todos los proveedores de QSLA desarrollarán un plan de mejora de calidad personalizado o Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) al cual se le dará seguimiento anualmente, con el fin de proveer apoyo y orientación para alcanzar esas metas.

P. ¿Serán los incentivos de este nuevo modelo de QSLA basados en una calificación?

R. No. La cantidad de incentivos en este modelo será la misma para todos los proveedores, y estará basada en la disponibilidad de fondos al momento de la inscripción.

P. ¿Cuánto tiempo tomará llenar la solicitud?

R. La solicitud debe tomar solamente unos 15 minutos y puede hacerse en partes. Si usted necesita detenerse al completar la solicitud, puede guardarla y comenzar otra vez cuando sea más conveniente.

P. ¿Qué debo hacer si tengo preguntas sobre el llenado de la solicitud?

R.  Las instrucciones para llenar la solicitud están disponibles aquí: Centro de aprendizaje temprano (inglés), Hogar de cuidado infantil familiar (español) (inglés)

P. ¿Existe una manera de verificar el estado de mi solicitud, o de actualizar mis datos u otra información después de haberla completado?

R.  Asegúrese de guardar su nombre de usuario y contraseña después de registrarse, los necesitará para verificar el estado de su solicitud y/o actualizar sus datos en este enlace: QSLA Solicitud

P. ¿Qué pasa después de enviar mi solicitud? ¿Cuáles son los siguientes pasos para mi inscripción?

R.  Una vez que su solicitud sea completada, usted recibirá una notificación de que ha sido agregado(a) a una lista de espera (por favor revise su carpeta SPAM, si no recibe tal notificación en la carpeta principal o bandeja de entrada de su correo electrónico). Si usted es elegido, será contactado para su inscripción en una fecha posterior.

Quality Start Los Ángeles (QSLA) es un sistema a lo largo y ancho del condado de Los Ángeles, el cual está asociado con proveedores de aprendizaje temprano para incrementar y mejorar la calidad del cuidado infantil que proveen desde el nacimiento hasta los cinco años, asegurando que los niños sean criados en un ambiente de calidad, listos para la escuela y preparados para la vida.


Fundamental Early Learning Programs



Interested in taking your program to the next level?
Join Quality Start LA Today!

Are you a family child care home or non-CSPP funded, center-based provider? Quality Start Los Angeles is enrolling NOW!

Enroll today!

NOTE: If you have already submitted an application, you are currently on the waitlist. Please do not submit a new application.  Existing QSLA providers DO NOT need to submit a new application to continue participating.

*To adhere with all current health and safety guidelines, all QSLA coaching and professional development services are being offered virtually, until further notice. 

Quality Start Los Angeles (QSLA) has made a commitment to ensure equity across the LA County early learning system. As a result, QSLA has analyzed available data to identify high priority communities in Los Angeles County where QSLA will focus its enrollment efforts. QSLA’s goal is to ensure that its resources and services are focused on the early learning programs and communities that have traditionally received an uneven distribution of, or limited access to, programmatic supports and services.

Although providers in communities not identified as highest priority will have the potential to enroll in QSLA, we are offering priority access to providers in the designated areas first. Remaining slots will be offered to applicants based on the other identified enrollment criteria. To learn more about the criteria we use for enrolling new sites to QSLA, click here*.

Click here for PDF of statement

 One-on-one support from a highly trained program coach. Together, you will develop a customized Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) which maps out your goals for the year, with built-in accountability to help you achieve these goals!

  • Unlimited access to cutting-edge professional development opportunities–offered in both English and Spanish!
  • Training and technical assistance (T&TA) tailored to your program’s specific areas of interest.
  • Access to QSLA’s self-paced training series, which includes topics such as:
    • Developmental Screenings
    • Professional Development
    • Effective Teacher-Child Interactions
    • Program Environment
    • Program Leadership
    • Family Engagement
    • Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity
    • Mindfulness and Self-care
  • Peer-to-peer learning opportunities, so you can learn alongside and share successes and solutions with fellow early learning providers.
  • Financial incentives, ($600/site, annually), based on grant funding availability
  • A self-assessment to guide the services you’ll receive from QSLA. No formal assessment required. 

Click the images below to download the PDF version of these flyers! 

                                     

Q.  Can I apply for this QSLA program if my site is already participating in QSLA?

A.  No, this opportunity is exclusively for early learning programs who are not currently enrolled in QSLA.  

Q.  What types of providers can qualify for QSLA?

A.  Any licensed Family Child Care Home or non-state funded center (no CSPP funding) can apply for QSLA.  You must be licensed and in good standing for 6 months before applying to participate in QSLA.  Whether you’ve been in the early learning field for 6 months or 20 years, QSLA is for you!

Q.  Can I enroll in this new QSLA Quality Improvement model if I was previously in QSLA but withdrew or am no longer participating for other reasons?

A. Yes, you can re-enroll for QSLA if you are still a non-CSPP funded center or Family Child Care home that has been licensed and have been in good-standing for at least 6 months.

Q.  Is this the same QSLA model that requires an assessment from UCLA?

A. No, this new quality improvement model does not include an external observation and does not give a quality rating. All FCCs and non-CSPP funded providers newly enrolled in QSLA will participate in this new model.

Q.  I have friends whose sites are participating in QSLA; how is this QSLA model different from theirs?

A.  There are a few ways that this model is similar to and different from the model for CSPP-funded sites or for those FCCs or private centers already participating in QSLA:

Differences:

      1.  There is no formal assessment in this QSLA model that includes CLASS or Environment Rating Scale (ERS) assessments or other documentation submissions. Providers participating in this model will only complete a self-assessment.

     2.  This model is focused on the needs of your site and may not necessarily focus on the Quality Counts California Rating Matrix elements. 

     3.  Providers participating in this model will have access to our new “Let’s Talk Quality” virtual learning series.  

 Similarities:

    1.  All QSLA providers have access to all QSLA professional development trainings, workshops, and learning communities.

    2.  All QSLA providers will have access to QSLA’s digital resources, website content, etc. 

    3.  All QSLA providers will develop a customized Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) and receive a follow-up check-in each year to provide support and guidance on achieving those goals. 

   4. All QSLA providers will be supported with creating a profile on the California ECE Workforce Registry to help with attending and keeping track of all professional development trainings.  

Q. Will the incentives for this new QSLA model be based on a rating?

A. No, the incentive amount for all providers in this model will be the same and based on availability of funding at the time of enrollment. 

Q.  How long should the application take to complete?

A.  The application should take only about 15 minutes and can be done in parts.  If you need to stop working on the application, you can save and start again when it is more convenient. 

Q.  What do I do if I have questions about how to complete the application?

A.  Application instructions are available here: Center-Based Program (English), Family Child Care Home (Spanish) (English)

Q.  Is there a way to check the status of my application or update contact or other information after I’ve completed it?

A.  Be sure to save your username and password after registering – you will need this to check the status of your application and/or update contact information at this link: QSLA Application

Q.  What happens after I submit my application? What are next steps for my enrollment?

A.  Once your application is complete, you will receive a notification that you have been placed on a waitlist. (Please check your spam folder, if you do not receive this notification in your main e-mail folder) If selected, you will be contacted about your enrollment at a later date. 

 If your program is not chosen, you will also receive an e-mail notifying you that your site has not been selected but will remain on the waitlist for the next enrollment period. 

Quality Start Los Angeles (QSLA) is Los Angeles’ county-wide system that partners with early learning providers to build upon and improve the quality of care they provide to children birth to five, ensuring children are nurtured in a high quality environment, ready for school, and prepared for life. 


Creating Welcoming Environments for Families

August 12, 2020 3:18PM

Lee esta artículo en español

I love to go shopping.  Not only do I enjoy the satisfaction of finding exactly what I am looking for, but I also value the shopping experience.  Part of that experience is the environment that stores create for myself, the shopper. 

The families in your programs are like shoppers.  Not only are families looking for a high-quality program with staff that care for and teach their children, but they are also looking for a program environment that is clean, safe, and inviting.  Before families learn about the details of your program, they look to your environment to gather basic information.  Therefore, the environment that you create, both indoors and outdoors, should be a reflection of who you and what you value as a professional.    

This month, we will be discussing the importance of creating a welcoming environment for the families that you serve.  Although families might not currently be entering your program regularly, the parts of your environment that they do interact with (such as your outside space, your sign-in table, and your waiting area outside or in the front of your house) can serve as opportunities to engage and communicate with your families. 

Why are Welcoming Environments Important?

Now more than ever, your early learning environment plays an important role in your daily operations.  Consider the following:

Your environment is a family’s first interaction with your program.

  • Your learning environment is a reflection of you, what you value, how you teach, and the energy that you infuse into your work with young children. Every day, whether you realize it or not, families are making observations of the space that you have created for their child.  They are looking to see how clean it is, how safe it is, how inviting it is, and what materials are available for their child to play with and learn from. 

Your environment serves as a means of communication.

  • Because face-to-face interactions are currently limited, using your environment creatively provides the opportunity for you to continue to communicate with your families directly and consistently. Using your outside space to share reminders, resources, and other pieces of relevant information can support your social distancing efforts while continuing to engage with families and show them a glimpse of what is happening inside.

Your environment is an indicator of an equitable, inclusive program.

  • Your early learning environment should be a reflection of the children in your program. The pictures, wall art, toys, and books in your program should represent the demographics of the children and families that you currently serve.  When your environment mirrors the families currently enrolled in your program, it demonstrates your commitment to creating an equitable and inclusive program that is responsive to the families in your care.    

Aspects of a Welcoming Environment

There are three specific aspects of a welcoming environment that programs should consider when working to engage families:

  • A welcoming physical environment
  • Positive interactions between the staff at your program and the families that you serve
  • Ways to welcome new families into your program.

This month, we will be focusing on strategies for creating welcoming physical environments, both in-person and virtually.  In the upcoming months, we will explore the other two facets of creating welcoming environments. 

Strategies for Creating Welcoming Environments:

As you create welcoming virtual spaces for families, consider the following:

The use of virtual backgrounds

Using virtual backgrounds takes the pressure off of having to show others a very personal part of your life, your home.  When you meet with families virtually, let them know that they are welcome to use a virtual background and provide instructions to do so if they choose.  Virtual backgrounds:

  • Allow families to be present without worrying what is going on behind them
  • Minimize the worry of having to clean up or keep others out of their video frame
  • Serve as a way of starting conversations, wherein families share with you why they chose that background

A provider at Gonzales Family Daycare shares a video with a child in her program. Adding a colorful visual to an interaction also helps create a welcoming virtual environment.

The name that you display on your screen

The names that people share at the bottom of their video serve as a way of learning who one another is and how they would like to be referred to by others. When displaying your name:

  • Using your first name, rather than your formal title, sets a relaxed tone and can help families feel more comfortable engaging virtually
  • For new families, you might want to suggest that they include the name of their child in parentheses next to their name, so you can start to connect the families and their children.
  • Encourage everyone to add their preferred pronouns after their name

To learn more about pronouns, click here

Establishing norms from the beginning

Norms, or group agreements, help create a supportive and respectful virtual environment.  When creating norms:

  • Have the families think about what behaviors and attitudes help them feel comfortable enough to engage with the group
  • Consider what you can do as a facilitator to support a respectful and supportive environment (for example: muting everyone upon entry, showing people how to use the chat feature, asking participants to mute themselves if they are not speaking)
  • Write these behaviors, attitudes, and other considerations down and share them with the group (or the individual family) every time you meet virtually
  • Revisit them regularly to make sure that are working and continue to support participation and high levels of comfort

To learn more about establishing norms for meeting with families and with staff, read Has Your Remote Team Defined Ground Rules Yet? Here’s How (Forbes Magazine)

As you create welcoming physical spaces for families that adhere to current social distancing guidelines, consider the following:

Move your information board outside.

  • Bringing your parent board(s) and other materials for families outside supports ongoing communication with families while still respecting the need to be socially distant.
  • Your information boards can serve as a space to provide program updates, community or program resources, and other information that is important to families.
  • Moving your board outside will also send the message to families that you want to keep the lines of communication open and that you are doing everything in your power to stay safe and support families simultaneously.

Wear a picture badge (and have all of your staff wear one too).

  • A big part of interacting with families every day is smiling and providing reassurance through facial expressions. Unfortunately, the current health and safety requirements of wearing masks and shields does not always allow for that.  Wearing a picture of yourself with your name on it can serve to bridge that gap.
  • If you have new families in your program, or returning families that have not seen you in months, having a smiling picture of yourself as a badge will help families remember who you are, what your smile looks like, and support families’ feelings of comfort during these unexpected times. 

Post plenty of clear signage

  • Posting plenty of colorful, informational signs will help families follow the health and safety policies and procedures that you have set in place. As always, make sure any signage uses strengths-based language. Signs can help families:
    • Know what to bring (and what not to bring) with them for the day
    • Locate the place to wash hands or leave children’s belongings
    • Know where to stand if dropping off or picking up
    • Learn the schedule for their children during the day
    • Better understand how you keep children safe and socially distanced during the days
    • Know how to connect with you if they have a question, need to talk, or have an update to share
    • Know how much you appreciate their support in adhering to the policies and procedures set forth

At Gonzales Family Daycare, families are greeted with clear signs and social distancing markers. This provider has also moved her family information board outside where families will be able to see it.

Move some of the children’s projects outside

  • Since families are no longer allowed to come into the program, it limits their ability to see what their child is working on each day and have conversations with their children about their work when they are at home.
  • Posting children’s work personalizes your outdoor environment, while adding color and creativity to that part of your program. Consider the following:
    • Create spaces outside where you can post some of the artwork done by the kids and invite families to visit those areas as they wait in the mornings or afternoons.
    • Decorate any drop-off and pick-up areas with artwork and other daily projects.
    • Attach pictures of individual children throughout the day to the sign-in sheets for families to view and take home if they choose.

Taking the time to create welcoming virtual and in-person environments will only serve to strengthen the relationships that you have with the families in your program.  These unprecedented times call for thinking outside of the box and creating new ways of connecting with families.  Although these times of social distancing are not forever, being intentional with creating welcoming environments is something that will always be of importance. 

Watch the Lunch & Learn Webinar on this Family Engagement Tip!

Creating Welcoming Environments for Families

August 20, 2020

This Lunch & Learn webinar will explore the importance of intentionally creating welcoming environments as a component of family engagement, even during this time of social distancing.

Wendolly A. Escobar, Ed.D.

Family Education Coordinator, Quality Start Los Angeles

Wendolly’s professional career began over 10 years ago as a lead teacher for a classroom of energetic preschoolers. In her current role, Wendolly is proud to support Quality Start Los Angeles by being an advocate for building authentic and supportive relationships with families of young children. She believes that by creating family-focused systems, early learning programs have the capacity to uplift and empower families and ensure the best outcomes for LA’s youngest learners.