Early childhood care and education (ECCE) programs across Virginia have unique strengths and opportunities for improvement. VECF brings public and private partners together to identify and offer resources for continuous quality improvement.
Identifying and Measuring Quality
Virginia’s current Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) is Virginia Quality, a QRIS that includes improvement activities for ECCE programs that choose to participate. Starting in 2021, Virginia will begin to transition from a voluntary QRIS to the Unified Virginia Quality Birth to Five System (VQB5). The Unified VQB5 System will measure the quality of infant, toddler and preschool teaching and learning based on two nationally recognized quality indicators: interactions and curriculum. VQB5 will measure teacher-child interactions and instruction using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) and will measure the use of approved curricula that are aligned with Virginia’s Early Learning and Development Standards.
The new system will unify expectations for all publicly funded programs and is focused on driving improvement to ensure all children have access to high-quality teaching and learning experiences. By fall 2023, all publicly funded programs will be required to participate with ratings shared publicly in fall 2024. You can read about VQB5 by visiting VDOE’s Building a Unified Early Childhood System webpage.
Upskilling Virginia’s Early Childhood Workforce
Quality improvement efforts are an investment in early childhood educators’ skill-building and recognition of the impact educators have on Virginia’s youngest learners. Access to effective, affordable professional development and credentialing pathways as well as appropriate compensation and working conditions is critical for ensuring Virginia has a talented, diverse early education workforce. VECF is dedicated to working with public and private partners to develop the early childhood workforce across the state and ensure high-impact experiences for all children.
Quality Improvement Supports
Programs can receive individualized improvement support on interactions and curriculum by joining their local Preschool Development Grant (PDG) community and participating in the VQB5 practice years. Click here to learn more about PDG and find your local PDG contact. If PDG is not yet available in your area, you can receive support through your Virginia Quality region.