School Districts and Head Start Programs Active Participants in Miami QRIS
Quality Counts, the QRIS in Miami-Dade County, Florida, was designed to include public school prekindergarten classrooms, as well as community-based early childhood programs, including those that receive Head Start and Early Head Start funding. The program has been well received, largely because the QRIS offers an easy-to-follow road map on how to improve quality in early childhood classrooms, resources along the way, and data to track progress. Head Start and the public schools cover the cost of technical assistance, training, and improvements, and the Quality Counts project funds similar supports for privately operated programs. As of December 2012 , all Miami-Dade Head Start programs and 4% of public school pre-K classrooms, along with 32% of centers and 24% of family child care homes, were participating in Quality Counts. There is a waiting list of 151 programs wanting to participate in Quality Counts with 141 centers and 10 family child care homes. Another key strength of Quality Counts is that it offers schools and community-based programs a common language, and it has enabled leaders to begin a conversation about curriculum alignment and improved transitions. Additional information on Quality Counts is available at http://www.elcmdm.org/QualityCounts/index.htm.