Riverside County is not new to supporting early learning programs to improve their quality.  First 5 Riverside, the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE), and the Local Child Care Planning Council have been investing in and supporting child care programs over twenty years.

Yet, nearly 25% of children in Riverside County live in poverty–and childhood poverty is a consistent predictor for school success. In Riverside County, only 33% of children in third grade meet grade-level standards for reading. To address this, children need access to high-quality early learning experiences in and out of their homes to help close the gap before they enter kindergarten. 

“Yet, nearly 25% of children in Riverside County live in poverty--and childhood poverty is a consistent predictor for school success.”

In 2015, RCOE and First 5 Riverside formed a partnership to build and implement Quality Start Riverside County (QSRC), a quality rating improvement system (QRIS) that works to ensure Riverside County’s youngest children have access to high-quality early education that will give them a strong developmental foundation and prepare them for school and, ultimately, college and career success.  

Quality Start Riverside County is bringing together early educators, families, and community partners for the common purpose of giving every child in Riverside County the chance to reach his or her full potential–and VIVA is honored to be a part of the team.

Since the beginning of the partnership, VIVA has provided strategic direction, capacity building, data & analytics, and communications support to help guide the development of the Quality Start Riverside County QRIS system. VIVA brought together the QSRC partners and engaged families, providers, policy makers, and other key stakeholders in the early childhood space to develop a five-year strategic plan that is supported by a communications plan.  

Over the last four years, VIVA has helped QSRC to develop a coaching model, an incentives structure, a professional development framework, and a cost model. VIVA also helped QSRC develop a family-friendly brand and a suite of print and digital communications materials, including a website and social media presence. VIVA has also developed surveys of families and early educators to understand needs and support QSRC planning. By developing and executing an integrated strategy, communications, and data approach, QSRC has been able to successfully build and refine a QRIS model that meets the needs of providers, families, partners, and other stakeholders in Riverside County. 

Key activities of this engagement:

  • Partnership agreement and memorandum of understanding
  • Strategic planning
  • Governance and operational structure
  • Facilitation of consortium, leadership teams, and committees
  • QRIS vision development
  • QRIS model development
  • Cost modeling 
  • Surveys
  • Communications plan
  • Brand development
  • Website development 
  • Digital and print marketing materials
  • Provider, family, and community engagement 
  • Social media campaigns
  • Advocacy materials and outreach