The WestEd E3 Institute—Excellence in Early Education supports and strengthens the quality of early education services by promoting professional development of early childhood educators to ensure the highest quality early learning experiences for children ages 0–5 years in Santa Clara County, California. The Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES) program offers financial incentives to early educators for completion of unit-bearing coursework relevant to their work with children. The Child Signature Program (CSP) enhances high-quality, preschool opportunities to children in underserved communities and provides additional resources for families and early educators. The E3 Institute is a project of the WestEd Center for Child & Family Studies. The E3 Institute accomplishes its goals through two projects:
- Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES)
- Child Signature Program (CSP), formerly Power of Preschool (PoP)
Each project is described below.
The Santa Clara CARES Program was launched by the E3 Institute in 2002. Financial stipends are awarded to early educators based on their educational achievement. These stipends have proven to be significant incentives to qualified early educators towards furthering their education and professional development. Since 2002, the number of early educators who received higher-level stipends has increased significantly. Overall participation in CARES includes the majority of early educators in Santa Clara County providing services in licensed centers and homes. The CARES program has influenced the leadership development of participating early educators by emphasizing the connection between higher educational standards and better child outcomes. The E3 Institute CARES program has been recognized as a state model because it uses a robust data collection and analysis system to continually meet the needs of its participants.
The Child Signature Program (CSP) was developed based on the learning gained from the Power of Preschool (PoP) model, launched in 2006 in California. CSP is a coordinated effort to bring the full set of early education services for 0-to-5-year old children in the county to provide a consistent, high level of quality for children and families in the neighborhoods with highest need.
CSP has been designed to prepare children at greatest risk for school failure to enter school with the skills to be successful. The program includes proven elements of other First 5 California-funded programs such as CARES, PoP and PoP Bridge, and the Special Needs Project. CSP also includes selected core components of Educare, and continued alignment with the California Department of Education Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations, and Infant/Toddler Curriculum Framework. The primary purpose of CSP is to enhance the quality of services by implementing the following three research-based program elements:
- Instructional strategies and teacher-child interactions
- Social-emotional development
- Parent involvement and support
Coaching and Modeling: The CSP in Santa Clara County has retained its Quality Enhancement Support Team (QuEST) model for each of the classroom sessions. QuEST is the main quality assurance component of the CSP and one of the most important ways the program works to improve the quality of early education in the county is by providing innovative and individualized coaching and modeling for teachers in all CSP classrooms. This coaching and modeling component includes three parts.
- QuEST coaches: Early Education professionals with extensive experience and expertise in developing, implementing, and managing diverse early education programs
- eQuEST members: Staff members from the WestEd E3 Institute who have expertise in early education, program development, and administrative systems and who design and implement best practice models at the local, regional, state, and national levels
- Site administrators: Administrators at each CSP site who oversee the delivery of high-quality early education services to the children and families in CSP programs
Director: Yolanda Garcia
Assistant Director: Ilene Hertz
Contact: Yolanda Garcia
Link to our Web site: http://www.e3institute.org
This project is part of WestEd's Center for Child & Family Studies.
WestEd staff involved with this project:
Resources related to this project:
- Yolanda Garcia, Director, E3 Institute
- Regina Garcia-Lemye, Program Assistant
- Ilene Hertz, Assistant Director, E3 Institute
- Patricia Jordan, Senior Program Associate/Program Manager
- Sandra Laguna, Program Assistant
- Jennifer Laguna, Administrative Assistant
- Rick Leon Jr, Financial Analyst
- Gayle Mayekawa, Senior Program Associate
- Gina Morimoto, Coordinator I
- Mimi Munoz, Program Assistant I
- Maria Munoz, Administrative Assistant
- Myhang Nguyen, Admnistrative Assistant
- Kimmy Nguyen, Research Assistant
- Phuong Pham, Program Assistant
- George Philipp, Senior Program Associate
- Kazuko Smith, Research Associate
- Jessica Straubel, QRIS Coordinator
- Tina Zapien, Operations Manager
- Craig Zercher, Senior Research Associate