Resources to Help Improve the Quality of Your Child Care

Early childhood education is one of the best, most long-lasting investments that we can make for our children.

Research shows that children who attend a high-quality preschool program get a better start in life and have better outcomes in education, health, social behaviors, and employment. Ninety percent of a child’s brain develops by age 5, and early experiences build the foundation for life-long learning.

You are the key to quality early childhood education.

Professionals who serve children ages 0-5 in early learning centers and family child care homes mean so much to the children and families they serve. The environment you create for children, the way you interact with them, the knowledge you bring to your work, and the tools and strategies you use every day make a big difference!


Important elements of quality early care and education include:

  • Understanding Child Development
  • Effective Adult-Child Interactions
  • Child Observation and Individualized Instruction
  • Developmental and Health Screenings and Referrals to Services
  • Quality Learning Environments
  • Continuing Education and Professional Development
  • Licensing, Ratios, and Group Sizes
  • Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
  • Supporting Social-Emotional Development
  • Family Engagement and Strengthening
  • Director Leadership

Learn more about each of these elements of quality in our Early Care and Education Quality Journey booklet!


We offer access to a variety of professional development and support programs to enhance the knowledge and skills of early care and education professionals in San Diego County.

  • Quality Preschool Initiative: Visit to learn more about building the key elements of quality in your program. Attend an orientation and participate in a free one-on-one consultation from an early learning expert to get started!
  • Child Care Initiative Project (CCIP): Access free training and support to start or expand your child care business.
  • Workshops and Trainings: Search for in-person workshops and trainings provided by YMCA Childcare Resource Service on a variety of topics at a low cost.
  • Wellness Champion Program: Earn a Wellness Champion designation and receive priority referrals for supporting healthy eating and physical activity and limiting screen time in your early learning program.
  • Behavior Support Services: Our behavior support specialists can observe your program using the Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool to help identify opportunities to prevent and reduce challenging behaviors, can provide training and coaching, and can facilitate communication with parents on behavior strategies.
  • Resource & Toy Lending Library: Up to twenty toys, books, and videos at a time can be borrowed from our resource and toy lending library. Check out the online catalog or call 1-619-521-3055 ext. 2304.
  • SD CARES: If you work in a child care center that is funded by the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Early Learning and Care Division or a Family Child Care Home that is part of a CDE-funded Family Child Care Home Network (FCCHN), you may be eligible for stipend awards to support completion of higher education coursework.