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$69 Million Approved for Early Education Scholarships, Quality Improvement System

May 27, 2016

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif – The Riverside County Children & Families Commission (First 5 Riverside) recently approved more than $69 million to narrow a critical gap in quality early learning programs for Riverside County children through age 5 over the next five years.

Approximately 82 percent of working families in Riverside County do not have a licensed child-care space available to them and working families often settle for non-licensed child care because it costs half as much as a licensed child-care center. More high-quality programs are needed in Riverside County to adequately deliver the services and resources necessary for the development of young children. The research is clear: quality early learning experiences matter in the first five years of a child’s life.

“We know that improving early childhood education is one of the best investments we can make,” said First 5 Riverside Executive Director Tammi Graham. “The Commission’s actions demonstrate First 5 Riverside’s commitment to ensure more children have a quality start.”

In July, three initiatives focused on a more comprehensive and coordinated early learning and development system for young children and their families across the county are expected to launch. Each will connect to the emerging quality rating improvement system (QRIS) called Quality Start Riverside County.

First 5 Riverside Hybrid-Alternative Payment Program: Using a systems approach, First 5 Riverside will partner with the Riverside County Office of Education to provide approximately 700 early learning scholarships for low-income children in quality rated licensed centers and family child care homes throughout Riverside County.

First 5 IMPACT – Quality Start Riverside County: A partnership with First 5 California to enhance early learning environments and programs. Approximately 181 sites (licensed centers, child care homes, and alternative settings such as libraries, family resource centers and home visitation) will be provided with quality assessments, coaching, professional development, training and resources to support continuous quality improvement efforts and strengthen families.

Jump-Start to Quality: A partnership with the Riverside County Child Care Consortium to provide licensed QRIS facilities with developmentally appropriate materials to support early learning for children and enhance program quality.

Since its inception with the passage of Proposition 10 in 1998, First 5 Riverside has invested tobacco tax revenues in early learning programs, professional development, as well as supports for programs that improve child health and strengthen families such as home visitation. See for further details and updates.

First 5 Riverside, the Riverside County Children & Families Commission, supports early childhood development through educational outreach, partnerships and funding for early learning, child health and services that benefit Riverside County children, prenatal through age 5. Research shows that such support helps children develop a strong foundation for success in school and throughout their lives. For more information, visit, Like us on Facebook, Subscribe to our YouTube channel, sign-up for The First 5 Years blog or give us a call at 800-266-3880.

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