Through Paths to QUALITY™ we can help child care programs take the necessary steps to achieve higher levels of quality in their programs; and empower families with an easy to understand consumer guide to choosing the care that is best for their children. Elevating community awareness on the importance of quality child care and early education requires a systematic approach which involves:
- Education of parents on the need for quality early education and child care and how to identify and select developmentally appropriate experiences that will help children as they enter school
- Advocacy and public awareness within the community that promotes quality child care standards, child care worker education and its impact on business and economic development
- Development of well-trained qualified child care and early education staff through child care professional training and mentoring
- Availability of high quality, affordable child care and appropriate early education experiences for families and children at all socio-economic levels
- Collaboration with other community organizations as well as private businesses and foundations to develop solutions to ensure that all of our community's children will have opportunities to develop to their fullest potential
Following a review in the summer of 2022 of the accessibility and effectiveness of Indiana's Quality Rating and Improvement System, Paths to QUALITY™, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration's Office of Healthy Opportunities recommended several high impact activities to propel the program's equity priority. The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is committed to creating:
- Equity policy and process statements to address nondiscrimination, disability inclusion and accommodations. Recommendations will be presented in March 2023.
- Language access to translate state forms, trainings, rating visits, and program materials into Spanish and other languages. This work is starting now and will run throughout 2023.
- Cultural humility and responsiveness training provided for coaches and technical assistance staff by March 2023.
OECOSL is grateful to the providers and key stakeholders who participated in the Equity Review Process. We are committed to ensuring that provider, family, and community voices are represented in these efforts.