For infants, toddlers and preschoolers, the quality of care they receive is crucial to their healthy development and eventual readiness for school. Child care providers strive to provide that type of quality care, but often lack the resources that are commonly available to publicly-funded early childhood programs, such as educational materials, on-site professional development, and other support. First Steps’ Child Care Quality Enhancement (QE) is intended to produce measurable improvements in the quality of care provided to young children. Participating child care providers must serve a significant percentage of at-risk children, and are selected through a competitive process that requires a strong level of commitment to the QE process.


  • On-site Technical Assistance (TA) at least twice monthly
  • Equipment and materials funding
  • Integration with locally available training, provided by First Steps and other partners
  • Workforce Development
  • Coordination with community partners
  • Pre/post assessments of the classroom environment and teacher-child interaction, using nationally-recognized observational tools for infant/toddler and preschool settings (ITERS,ECERS,FCCERS).