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CARES Plus Year 1 Highlights
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Advancing Excellence in Early Education
The WestEd E3 Institute-Excellence in Early Education was created to support and strengthen the quality of early education services by promoting professional development of early childhood educators to ensure the highest quality early learning experiences for Santa Clara County's youngest children. E3 accomplishes its goals through two primary programs -- Child Signature Program (CSP) and Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES). The CARES program offers financial incentives to early educators for completion of unit-bearing coursework relevant to their work with children. CSP enhances high-quality, preschool opportunities to children in underserved communities and provides additional resources for families and early educators. The E3 Institute is a project of the WestEd Center for Child & Family Studies.

Our Programs

The Santa Clara CARES Program was launched by the E3 Institute in 2002. Financial stipends are awarded to early educators based on their educational achievement. These stipends have proven to be significant incentives to qualified early educators towards furthering their education and professional development. Since 2002, the number of early educators who received higher-level stipends has increased significantly. Overall participation in CARES includes the majority of early educators in Santa Clara County providing services in licensed centers and homes. The CARES program has influenced the leadership development of participating early educators by emphasizing the connection between higher educational standards and better child outcomes. The E3 Institute CARES program has been recognized as a state model because it uses a robust data collection and analysis system to continually meet the needs of its participants.
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Race to the Top
Santa Clara County is one of 16 counties taking part in California's Race to the Top (RTT) Early Learning Challenge Grant to increase the number of high quality early learning programs in California through the development of Quality Rating Improvement Systems (QRIS). In Santa Clara County, QRIS is based on the Child Signature Program quality system and is the next step in continuing to improve the quality of early care and education, so that all children in Santa Clara County have access to the highest quality care possible. Santa Clara County is also part of the Bay Area QRIS Partnership that is focused on building a coordinated approach to QRIS in the region. Learn more >>

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