The WestEd E3 Institute implements Quality Matters (formerly known as QRIS) in Santa Clara County. The county’s Quality Matters system includes a stipend program, rating process, and quality improvement process for early childhood learning.
As part of the WestEd E3 Institute’s work to promote higher education for the workforce, the E3 Institute also coordinates a degree program and supports professional development initiatives statewide in California.
Supporting Professional Development Initiatives of Santa Clara County
Master’s Degree Cohort
The E3 Institute, in collaboration with FIRST 5 Santa Clara County and Pacific Oaks College, coordinated a Master’s Degree Cohort Program. In Spring 2019, 15 early educators graduated with their master’s degree in Human Development with a concentration in Leadership in Education and Human Services. All of the students in this program work at a Quality Matters site and, as part of their cohort activities, participate in Communities of Practice with staff from other Quality Matters programs.
Supporting Professional Development Initiatives of California
The WestEd E3 Institute provides technical assistance to support the Santa Clara County early childhood workforce in joining the The California Early Care and Education Workforce Registry (Registry). The Registry is a web-based system to track the professional development and education of early educators. This system was developed as a state, regional, and local collaboration for the purpose of improving professionalism and workforce quality to positively impact children. In addition to supporting the Registry in Santa Clara County, the WestEd E3 Institute serves on a statewide advisory board that aims to expand the Registry’s use throughout California.
The WestEd E3 Institute is currently leading efforts to develop a career lattice for California, working with the California Department of Education and First 5 California. An early childhood educator career lattice defines the training, qualifications, and credentials that early childhood educators must demonstrate at various levels of professional responsibility. It outlines a pathway for professional advancement and achievement from a classroom aide, assistant teacher, and beginning provider through multi-site program director. Ideally, a career lattice is aligned with licensing and funding requirements, newly developed early childhood competencies, degree- granting programs at institutions of higher education, and continuing education and training programs. In contrast to creating a single early childhood teaching credential, a career lattice defines a progression of roles and of training and education that are necessary to demonstrate competence in those roles.