The Big Picture
VIVA supported the Fresno County Office of Education in the strategic design, development, and implementation of their quality rating and improvement system, Early Stars. With VIVA’s support, Early Stars has been a leader in California’s county-based QRIS system.
In 2011, California was awarded a federal Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant to improve early childhood education systems. Sixteen counties, including Fresno County, received funding to develop quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS). The Fresno County Office of Education (FCOE) contracted with VIVA to design and implement their QRIS system.
VIVA worked with the Fresno County Office of Education (FCOE) to design a QRIS that built on the county’s existing quality improvement programs. Once the initial design of the QRIS was established, VIVA supported FCOE in most facets of QRIS implementation, including creating a data system, meeting evaluation requirements, developing and strengthening partnerships, facilitating meetings, and representing Early Stars at the statewide QRIS consortium meetings. VIVA also supported the post-Race to the Top sustainability of the Early Stars programs by developing an in-depth cost estimation model that can be adjusted to account for new QRIS funding streams and a sustainability plan to strategize for new and terminating funding streams.
As a result, FCOE was an early leader in California’s developing QRIS landscape. VIVA supported the planning and coordination of a QRIS Summit, hosted by FCOE, which brought together QRIS implementers from across California to learn and strategize. With VIVA’s assistance, FCOE also negotiated a multi-party MOU that resulted in the only parent-facing provider database in the state that searches for early learning programs by both quality and availability.