Quality Counts

Quality Counts is a community-based child care quality improvement strategy, designed to build and sustain high quality in early care and education programs.

Evidence Based

Developed by Spartanburg County First Steps, Quality Counts is a community-based child care quality improvement strategy. It is designed to build and sustain high quality in early care and education programs using relationship-based technical assistance, mentoring, specialized training, and a director network.

This map only shows programs funded by South Carolina First Steps. For more information about services available in your area, contact your local First Steps partnership.

Who it Serves

Licensed, registered, or approved child care centers

Early care and education providers

Opportunities for early childhood teachers, paraprofessionals, and program directors

How It Works

Quality Counts is based upon a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) loop, which begins with a participating child care center/program’s assessment using five quality standards. The total score is then translated into a star rating level (1-5 star scale). Technical assistance and support is targeted based on the center’s star rating and includes regular classroom visits, at least 8 hours of training, monthly directors network meetings, and grant funding for equipment and materials.

Professional Development

Learning experiences for early childhood professionals

Target Outcomes

Quality Counts aims to produce measurable improvements in the quality of child care provided to children 0-5.

Community Impact

51

child care centers served

1,016

hours of technical assistance provided

2

counties served

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Quality Enhancement

Intensive support to child care centers, Head Start and preschool classrooms to improve quality

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Child Care Scholarships

Eligible children receive tuition-free enrollment at quality child care centers

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Child Care

Providing local families with access to high-quality early care and education.

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Early Head Start

Nationally, Early Head Start programs serve over 160,000 children and pregnant women annually.

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Training and Professional Development

Certified and registered training hours for the early childhood workforce

Early Care & Education

First Steps 4K

First Steps 4K offers free four-year-old kindergarten to qualifying children in South Carolina. We partner with more than 200 private, nonprofit, and faith-based centers across the state, making it easy for families to find a high-quality program that meets their needs.