Quality Improvement Programs

An experienced team of professionals here to help you...

Our services to child care providers are coordinated through a team of staff with experience in various early childhood settings including family child care, center-based care, preschool and Head Start programs.

Early Care & Education Specialists provide professional development, coaching and technical assistance to early educators serving children birth to age 12.

Our Inclusion & Transition Specialist provides coaching, technical assistance and professional development to help child care providers in easing children and families through developmental transitions, and adapting the environment and materials for children with diverse needs and abilities.

One Time &/or Long-Term Help

We can help with specific issues – such as child behavior questions, getting started in the child care business, and general business practices. We also offer a variety of longer-term options that programs can enroll in. Below is a list of these programs. Call us at 785-357-5171, 1-877-678-2548 toll free, or email us at info@east.ks.childcareaware.org for more information about any of these programs.

Kansas Quality Rating Improvement System (KQRIS) – KQRIS is an ongoing program bringing on-site coaching and support for continuous quality improvement. It is only available in Shawnee County.

Step It Up/Early Childhood Wellness Project – This program focuses on promoting healthy habits for children and families within child care programs. It is available in counties located in southeast Kansas.

Get Set for Success This program offers on-site coaching, free professional development, a free lending library membership, the Handwriting Without Tears’ Get Set for School curriculum, and materials to support it. It is available to child care programs in Shawnee County that serve some children meeting “at risk” criteria established by the Kansas Children’s Cabinet. This program is funded through the United Way of Greater Topeka.

Strengthening Families – This year-long program consists of coaching to help child care providers support families and reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect of infants and toddlers. It is available throughout our entire service delivery area.

Literacy Connections – This program assists child care programs in better preparing children for school. It is available to programs with children, ages infant to 5 years old, who reside in Topeka.

Credentials & Accreditation

Research clearly shows that education and specialized training in early childhood practice positively impacts the quality of an early learning program.

The National Child Development Associate (CDA) program credentials qualified teachers who work with children birth to age 5. Teachers who earn a CDA complete:

  • Hands-on experience with a specific age group.
  • Formal child development training and education.
  • Observations by a qualified advisor.
  • A professional resource file.
  • Gathering of parent questionnaires.
  • An oral interview and written test.

For more information about the CDA, go to www.cdacouncil.org.

The Kansas Early Childhood Director Credential, issued by the Kansas Association for the Education of Young Children (KAEYC), provides directors with a pathway to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to be successful in the early learning industry. It also provides a system to recognize and document these achievements.

The credential is voluntary and exceeds what is required by state licensing regulations. Two levels of the credential are offered – the Provisional Director Credential and the Director Credential. Both levels require that candidates demonstrate competency in the areas of early childhood education, child development and leadership/management. Selected competencies for directors are identified from the Kansas and Missouri Core Competencies for Early Care and Education Professionals and provide the basis for the credential’s criteria. Candidates must also demonstrate competency by documenting their education, experience and professional contributions.

For more information, go to http://www.kaeyc.net/programs.html.

Accreditation is a stamp of quality that means a program meets nationally recognized guidelines for high-quality early care and education. Child care centers may be accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Family child care providers may be accredited through the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC). School-age programs may be accredited through the National School Age Care Alliance (NSACA).

For more information about the accreditation process, visit the links below:
NAEYC www.naeyc.org/accreditation
NAFCC www.nafcc.org/accreditation/about_accreditation.asp
NSACA naaweb.yourmembership.com/?page=NAAAccreditation