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All About Quality Matters Monterey County Ratings

High quality early learning experiences help children grow, develop, and learn. Being a part of Quality Matters Monterey County means that an early learning program is committed to giving the children they serve high quality early learning experiences.


Quality Matters uses a 5-star rating system to guide early educators and parents, so they know where programs are on their journey to excellence in quality. When programs sign up to be part of Quality Matters, they are visited by an independent observer who is trained and certified in rating sites. The observer measures programs using California standards of quality. Child care centers are measured in seven areas. Family child care homes are measured in five areas. Programs are then awarded a star rating for their continuous improvement.

Below is a description of what each star rating means:

  – Excellence in Quality


  – Exceeding Quality


  – Achieving Quality


  – Rising Quality


 – Committed to Quality Improvement

Quality Matters rates early learning programs in the following six areas:


  • Child Observation: The program assesses children’s learning and development using an appropriate assessment method. It uses this information to develop learning activities that support each child’s interests, growth, and development, as well as culture and home language.


  • Developmental and Health Screening: The program makes sure children receive health and developmental screenings and that families get referrals for more support when needed.


  • Staff Training and Education: The teachers have formal education and training in child development and early learning.


  • Positive Teacher-Child Interactions: Teachers interact in a meaningful way with children. Teachers support the development of the whole child, encourage mutual respect between children and adults, and promote a love of learning.

  • *Teacher-to-Child Ratios: The number of children to adults is small enough to keep each child engaged, so teachers have the opportunity to address children’s individual needs.

  • *Director Qualifications: The directors have specialized training and advanced degrees in child development and administration.



      * Family child care homes are not measured in these areas.


No matter the star rating, every Quality Matters
Monterey County participant is committed to quality.


Quality Matters supports continuous growth, so that programs can meet the individual needs of the children in their care.

Participants receive training and professional development from Quality Matters in the areas where they choose to focus. 

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