Over 800 Early Childhood Education Sites Countywide Receive Upgrades


Photos of a ribbon cutting last fall for the YMCA of Greater Long Beach Play & Learn Preschool courtesy of Quality Start Los Angeles.

More than 50 early childhood education sites in Long Beach, and over 800 sites countywide, have been enhanced through investments from Quality Start Los Angeles, a rating system of early learning providers across the county, since the program launched a year ago, officials announced this week.

Many of the sites enhanced in the Long Beach area belong to the Long Beach Unified School District and YMCA of Greater Long Beach, said QSLA spokeswoman Rachael Stoffel.

These improvements were made possible through state and local dollars that fund Quality Start Los Angeles, which is led by a coalition of top childhood education agencies in Los Angeles, including the county’s Office of Education, Office for the Advancement of Early Care and Education, First 5 LA, the Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles and nonprofit Los Angeles Universal Preschool.

QSLA aims to improve the quality of early learning providers through its Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), which all 58 counties in California take part in. QSLA works directly at the site level, providing hands-on support through coaching, professional development, family engagement and direct support to parents.

QSLA is funded by both state and local dollars serving state and non-state funded Infant/Toddler and Preschool programs and centers, according to officials.

Research shows that high quality early childhood education can improve a child’s health, social-emotional skills, and academic readiness for school, officials said

“Children who receive high quality early childhood education are more likely to graduate high school, pursue higher education or job training, and earn higher incomes,” said Keesha Woods, Los Angeles County Office of Education’s executive director of Head Start and State Early Learning Programs, in a statement. “By assessing and elevating quality of programs offered throughout the county, we are ensuring that our children have the necessary foundation they need to grow, and thrive into academia and beyond.”

To learn more about QSLA or to find a provider that is participating in QSLA, click here.


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Stephanie Rivera is the community engagement editor for the Long Beach Post. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015.