900 South Pine Street
Spartanburg, SC 29302

First Steps

“A champion of the young children in Spartanburg County, Quality Counts is an initiative that supports continuous quality improvement in early care and education programs with the goal that ALL children will arrive at school prepared for kindergarten success.”

 Carolyn Brooks, Executive Director, Spartanburg County First Steps

Why Quality Counts?

Has your child’s pediatrician ever mentioned that 90% of your child’s brain architecture will be built by age 4? That’s right. 90%. With a percentage that high, it’s easy to understand how cutting edge research continues to tell us that young children who participate in child care programs and school environments that offer high quality learning experiences are more likely to be prepared for school success. What’s more shocking is that children who are NOT enrolled in high quality learning programs can arrive at kindergarten as much as 18 months behind the learning curve of their peers.

Early childhood years cannot receive a “do over.” What happens during a child’s early years sets the stage for all future learning. Every moment, every experience, counts for the future quality of a child’s life. Therefore, Quality Counts demands the importance of quality early care and education programs be recognized and sought after by anyone who has a part in helping a child grow.

Whether you’re selecting, creating, or sustaining a quality child care program, we recognize what a huge –and sometimes overwhelming—experience it can be. Remember, Quality Counts is here to help:

High quality learning programs will provide an enriched educational environment where children engage in developmentally appropriate learning and play, guided by a qualified caregiver. This type of setting promotes healthy brain development and prepares a child for future learning success. Quality Counts can help you identify quality learning environments as participating programs receive a 1 to 5 Star rating after each assessment based on our quality standards. A 5 Star rating represents very high quality, and a 1 Star rating represents minimum standards met.

Parents, please use our resources, tools, and list of Star Rated Programs that are already participating in our initiative as you explore and research childcare options and learning experiences for your child.

Child Care Providers, please use us as a resource for things big (becoming a participating program in our quality initiative!) and small (linking to hot-button early child care topics and what the experts are saying) as your classroom or program continues to grow with the children it serves.

News and Views

  • Our Quality Indicators

    Click on the hands below to learn about our key indicators of quality.

    Ratio and Group Size

    Good staffing ratios and small group sizes are important for high quality child care. Children learn best with individualized or small group instruction and care. The fewer the children per each adult, the better care and attention a child will receive. This is especially important for infants and toddlers who are part of our most vulnerable populations.

A Back-to-School Note From Ms. Barbara

Happy end of summer! I hope all of you found time to rejuvenate yourselves while enjoying the fun and sun. We are all so busy, relaxation seems to be hard to find and with the beginning of school just around the corner we seem to be busier than ever. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” That’s …

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Super Saturday Success

Quality Counts has completed two Super Saturday Seminar Days with more than 200 QC teachers and directors in attendance! This was an important component in the quality improvement cycle, and we were thrilled by the turn out. The seminar classes were titled “Foundations of Curriculum” and “Advanced Curriculum.” Presenters …

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