THE BIG PICTURE
Quality Start Los Angeles, the quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) of LA County, partnered with VIVA to produce customized educator kits to welcome new programs to the initiative. VIVA developed a suite of communications materials that were combined with useful, branded incentives that made new members of the Quality Start Los Angeles program feel appreciated and informed.
Quality Start Los Angeles (QSLA) is a partnership between First 5 LA, Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), Child360, Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles (CCALA), County of Los Angeles Child Care Planning Committee, PEACH (Partnerships for Education, Articulation and Coordination through Higher Education), and the Office for the Advancement of Early Care and Education (OAECE). These partners recognized that participants need clear communication to orient them to QSLA. To provide additional insight, VIVA facilitated focus groups with participating providers. During these conversations, educators also expressed a need for materials to help them speak with the families in their program about the importance of high-quality early learning experiences, and how families benefit from the QSLA program.
Educators feel more confident when they have a clear understanding of the program and the support available to them, and can communicate that information to families. The bilingual welcome materials VIVA developed for Quality Start Los Angeles included a letter of appreciation to participants, a timeline outlining what a provider could expect in the first year, and an explanation of the rating process, in addition to flyers highlighting professional development opportunities and QSLA’s family education initiative.
The educator kit also contained tools to help providers talk to the families in their program about the importance of quality in early learning and the benefits of QSLA. Educators were armed with short, memorable tips and talking points to guide their discussions, and a QSLA brochure to give to families.
Quality Start Los Angeles wanted to reward providers who volunteer to join the QRIS program with incentives that honor their commitment to quality and showcase their achievement. QSLA worked with VIVA’s experts to customize their educator kit with specific branded products that their providers find useful in their classrooms, such as waist aprons, ice packs, hand sanitizer, tote bags, and water bottles.
QSLA’s coaches distributed the educator kits to all new participants in the QRIS program to officially welcome them to their community of educators who are committed to raising the quality of early care and education in Los Angeles County.