Early Care and Education Providers

Every program that participates in the San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative (SDQPI) demonstrates a commitment to quality improvement for the birth to 5 aged children and families they serve. Participating providers receive individualized support to implement quality improvement efforts and materials to help them promote and communicate about quality programs with parents and their community. In addition, they are listed as SDQPI Participating Sites on this website and in search information provided by the YMCA Childcare Resource Service when parents request referrals. Some participating programs may also be eligible to receive financial resources, based on year-to-year available funding.

The San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative (SDQPI) is an individualized approach to improvement through a variety of supports for all Birth to 5 early education programs. It is the San Diego County version of the state of California’s quality system for birth-5 settings: Quality Counts California (QCC). All providers are invited to participate in program enhancement focused on site needs, quality, and overarching improvement. SDQPI seeks to provide adult-centered support to those who lead the site and provide guidance to staff who directly engage with children, to ensure that systematic change occurs. The focus of all SDCPI efforts aligns with the three domains established by Quality Counts California (QCC): 1) Child Development and School Readiness, 2) Teachers and Teaching, and 3) Program and Program Environment.

SDQPI engages a variety of birth to 5 program types in its Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), including center-based preschools and infant/toddler programs as well as family child care homes. Participating in Quality improvement means that all early learning and care providers are given individualized support tailored to the needs of the site and the site leader, focused on how to support staff working directly with children to continually enhance and improve adult-child learning and development interactions and opportunities, maximizing each child’s potential. Providers may also select to participate in Rating activities to obtain a 1-5 Tiered rating that indicates the level of quality offered at the site. The System in QRIS (Quality Rating and Improvement System) involves engagement in both, Quality and Rating activities, focused on Improvements. The San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative helps providers keep up to date with “best practices” in early learning and identify areas for continued improvement through Quality Improvement Plans.

Ratings on the QRIS matrix are provided by the San Diego County Office of Education each year based on the outcomes of independent external assessments and data collected from each program. All agencies providing early care and education for children ages 0-5 are able to receive a quality rating based on the following matrix:


Additionally, eligible programs receive coaching, technical assistance, and other resources to support ongoing program quality improvement may be available through various funding sources. Please contact us for more information.

For information on the rated elements of quality as well as tools used to assess and improve quality in preschool, infant/toddler centers, and family child care homes, visit the About Quality Ratings page.