The Importance of Quality

A child begins learning before he or she is even born. Every experience in a child’s first 5 years helps build the foundation for all later learning. That’s why high quality early learning experiences are so important. High quality early learning helps children with:


Critical Thinking


Social-emotional Skills




Paying Attention


Language & Math

These skills prepare children to succeed in kindergarten and throughout school.

Quality Start Riverside County helps early learning programs in the county provide the highest quality early care and education, so that children in these programs get the quality start they deserve.

What is Quality Start Riverside County?

Quality Start Riverside County is a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS), which creates new opportunities for early educators to receive training, access professional development, and, ultimately, raise the quality of their programs. It also helps to increase access to high quality services and resources to better support families and children. Quality Start brings together educators, families, and community partners around the common goal of making sure that all children ages 0 through 5 are happy, healthy, and ready for success in kindergarten and beyond.

Quality Start supports high quality early learning environments by:

  1. Establishing standards of quality for early learning programs.
  2. Measuring programs using these standards.
  3. Offering coaching, training, and professional development opportunities to early educators.
  4. Giving parents and caregivers resources to find high quality programs for their children.

To learn more about Quality Start quality standards and see program ratings, click here.

Who Participates in Quality Start?

Any program looking to offer high quality care, while also receiving professional development support, is a great candidate for Quality Start Riverside County. Participating programs get the opportunity to demonstrate to their families and community that they are committed to supporting children’s healthy development and learning. In addition to the improvements in quality care, programs also receive tailored coaching, technical assistance, and other great incentives that can help raise their level of quality.

There are a diverse range of programs and providers that participate in Quality Start Riverside County. Early learning sites that can participate in this rating system include:

  • Center-based care
  • Family child care homes

In addition to these early learning programs, other types of community and home-based programs can also participate in Quality Start if they are providing early learning and school readiness service to parents and young children. These may include home visiting programs, family resource centers, libraries, and other forms of alternative care programs.

Here are just a few of the alternative programs that currently participate in Quality Start:

  1. Coachella Valley Unified School District- Home Visitation Program
  2. Desert Sands Unified School District- Home Visitation Program
  3. Hemet Unified School District- Fruitvale Home Visitation Program
  4. Hemet Unified School District- Ramona Home Visitation Program
  5. Jurupa Unified School District Training and Support Services Center
  6. Lake Elsinore Unified School District- Heald Academy Child Development Center
  7. Lake Elsinore Unified School District- Screen Now and Prevent Program
  8. Romoland School District- Home Visitation Program
  9. Phillip M Stokoe- Early Head Start Home Visitation Program
  10. Beaumont- Early Head Start Home Visitation Program
  11. Riverside Community College- Moreno Valley Home Visitation Program
  12. Perris- Early Head Start Home Visitation Program

In order to participate, programs must complete an application to determine eligibility, and then attend an orientation session. To learn more about how to participate, contact us.

The Team Behind Quality Start Riverside County

A team of local early learning partners participate in the Quality Start Riverside County Consortia. These partners include: First 5 Riverside; Riverside County Office of Education; Consortium for Early Learning Services; Lovett’s Children, Inc; Riverside Unified School District; California Baptist University; College of the Desert; Family Service Association; Department of Public Health Nurse Family Partnership; Riverside University Health System, Behavioral Health; University of California Riverside; Department of Public Social Services; Community Action Partnership; Inland Empire Regional Office Community Care Licensing; and Southern California Child Care Advocate.  

Quality Start is operated by First 5 Riverside, Riverside County Office of Education, and the Consortium for Early Learning Services.

Become a Quality Start partner! To see a list of upcoming Consortia meetings on our calendar, click here.

Our Vision

Every child in Riverside County has access to a high quality early learning environment that prepares them to succeed in school and life.

Our Mission

To provide an integrated approach to improving and supporting the quality of Riverside County’s early learning environments.