| BCC telephone Helpline Offers Technical Assistance: Need help building your child care? We can assist you with facilities development and financing:
- Capital financing technical assistance
- Develop a business plan
- Locate loan & grant resources
- Find your local child care community resources
- Access publications related to child care business operations & facilities development
Call us at 1-888-411-3535 or email: email@example.com
How CAEL QIS May Impact the Quality of ECE Facilities in California
The California Early Leaving Quality Improvement System (CAEL QIS) Advisory Committee has been meeting for almost two years to develop a method for improving the quality of early care and education services throughout the state. The Committee has considered various elements of program operation and service delivery.
One such element has been the quality of existing facilities, rather than the expansion of facilities in general. Toward that end, CAEL QIS has embraced two instruments that could provide direction in terms of necessary technical assistance to centers as they consider where to improve services, namely the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS) and the Program Administration Scale (PAS) ECERS examines classroom environments, including some items related to the quality of the physical environment. The Advisory Committee is recommending that it be the primary instrument for determining a center’s quality rating.
PAS goes beyond the classroom, examining the overall facility in which services are delivered. More specifically, the PAS reviews 25 items in a number of subscales including, #7 facility management. That item reviews the facility and/or outdoor play environment including maintenance of these areas, space for meeting the needs of staff, and office space for program administration. These three areas go beyond what Community Care Licensing mandates relative to licensing. Unlike ECERS, the purpose for using the PAS is not to rate programs, but rather to determine where technical assistance is warranted.
The Building Child Care Collaborative feels that this is a step in the right direction; technical assistance is needed to assist providers in upgrading the quality of their facility. The concern is that the PAS is not a part of the rating scale. If financial incentives are connected only to the rating scale, there may not be financial incentives for centers to make the necessary upgrades to their facilities. The quality of the facility needs to be a part of the rating system because the quality of a facility impacts the overall quality of a program. Research indicates that a facility is not merely where an ECE program takes place, it is part of the program’s formula for success. The environment must therefore positively support the child's interaction with space, materials, and people. The design and layout of the physical environment – categories that include the building, interior finishes, outdoor spaces, equipment, and room arrangement -- have a profound impact on children's learning and behavior, as well as teachers' abilities to do their jobs effectively.
ELQIS needs to have a facilities component as part of the rating system and the necessary funding. If you agree this is important, and want to be heard, please attend the next ELQUIS Meeting on August 26, 2010 in Sacramento. (Please go to the link for more information.) Your voice is important and can make a difference. We hope you are able to attend or forward comments to the Advisory Committee and staff.
California Child Care Resource and Referral Network: Child Care Issues Fact Sheet:
In California, working families struggle to find and afford quality child care. Licensed child care is available for only 27% of children with working parents. The current economic crisis further threatens the stability of child care.
Affordable Child Care Key to jobs:
In an op-ed today in the San Diego Union-Tribune, California Budget Project Executive Director Jean Ross talks about the importance of state-supported child care for keeping Californians working, particularly in a still-challenging economy plagued by long-term unemployment. State-funded child care helps foster a stable workforce, helps low-income families make ends meet, and ensures that children are cared for safely. Jean writes, “Budget cuts that end care or increase its costs will push many families beyond the breaking point. Without assistance, many will literally not be able to afford work. Others will juggle inadequate alternatives such as leaving children without supervision or leaving older children to care for young siblings.”
Child Care Design and Siting Guidelines: Including comprehensive information on navigating the County of Riverside permitting process:
Recently published by First 5 Riverside, the Guidelines is the result of a collaborative endeavor with the Riverside County Planning Department to support child care operators and intermediaries in the process of facilities development. This comprehensive Guidelines manual consists of general information in two specific areas. The first covers the design and siting of child care centers and is applicable in any geographic region. The second section pertains to the permitting process specifically in unincorporated Riverside County. A variety of siting examples are included with narrative descriptions, plot plans and photos. The shared vision and intended outcome of this publication is that child care centers and preschools will be created or expanded in order to serve additional children with quality services. Those interested in obtaining a copy can do so by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quality Environments for Children: A Design and Development Guide for Child Care and Early Education Facilities:
This guide provides tools and advice on planning, designing and building safe, healthy facilities for early education programs. Developed to help early childhood operators, site developers, architects and contractors working together, the guide walks through the typical phases of a project and includes practical tools, timelines and reference information.