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Quality Start San Bernardino

Quality Start San Bernardino (QSSB) is a multi-agency endeavor designed to evaluate and elevate the quality of childcare in San Bernardino County.  This is achieved by assessing, rating, and coaching local child care providers.  CSUSB is responsible for two facets of this project.  One, CSUSB trains and deploys assessors to conduct environmental assessment of participating providers.  Two, CSUSB is tasked with increasing the provision of higher education in our community.

QSSB is a Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS), which is a systemic approach that seeks to assess, improve, and communicate level of quality to stakeholders of early education programs.  QRIS are important as their primary mission is to improve the quality of childcare offered to young children and to allow parents to be informed consumers.  This is accomplished by assessing and rating childcare centers and family day care homes and then providing them with technical assistance and support geared towards increasing quality.  Programs are assessed in a variety of areas thought to be indicative of quality, including child assessment, the quality of the classroom environment, teacher and director qualifications, and teacher-child interactions.  QRIS complement state licensing regulations as they focus not just on structural indices of quality (teacher-child ratio, teacher qualifications), but process indices of quality as well (teacher-child interactions, quality of instruction).

To increase the provision of higher education and training in our community for early childhood educators we have two primary goals. First, identify potential barriers of early childhood educators accessing and completing higher education; to accomplish this, currently we are conducting a survey with educators in the County to learn about their experiences and challenges.  Second, is to build a network of early childhood/child development higher education institutions in the community that will work together to address some of the barriers shared by early childhood professionals in the County.

The assessment portion of the QSSB is headed by Dr. Amanda Wilcox-Herzog.  She is assisted by a coordinator and a team of assessors, who are primarily past and present students pursuing degrees in child related fields at CSUSB. The higher education portion of the project is headed by Dr. Amy van Schagen.  She is assisted by six graduate- and two undergraduate- students who are members of Team ACCES (Access to Childcare and Equity for Students) Research Lab. 

For more information about QSSB, visit our webpage at or send a message to