The use of childcare has become increasingly common in the past 25 years. Such care is often essential for families where both parents work outside the home. Many other families choose to place their children in childcare to better prepare them for school.

On average, the early care and education settings attended by many young children, particularly low-income children or children of color, provide quality at levels too low to adequately promote children’s learning and development.

The Quality Childcare Initiative (QCI) is a UWS-led program developed to help ensure that children from all backgrounds have access to high-quality childcare and early education. UWS has engaged in a 3-year partnership with local Early Learning Coalitions (ELC) and childcare providers in areas with a high concentration of ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families to address the key components of quality care and instruction to ensure our children are ready to enter kindergarten.


Enhancing the Learning Environment

Children need a physical setting—both inside and outdoors—where they can play, explore, and learn safely. The learning environment needs to include engaging and developmentally appropriate materials and be arranged to promote independence and exploration based on children’s different stages of development. To enrich the quality of classroom instruction, participating sites will be offered: curriculum and supplemental educational materials, educational supplies and toys, functional furniture, painting, flooring and exterior beautification projects.

Establishing an Experienced and Stable Workforce

Studies have found that teachers’ specialized knowledge about child development and instruction for young children is particularly important. Well-prepared teachers have the knowledge and skills to provide engaging interactions and classroom environments to support children’s learning. Participating sites will receive Professional Development opportunities for center staff by offering teacher training incentives, credential earning/renewals or onboarding certifications.

Creating Consistent Family Engagement and Referrals

Positive family-program connections have been linked to greater academic motivation, grade promotion, and social-emotional skills in young children across all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Caregivers receive additional engagement activities, in-home learning kits and referrals to address needs like food security, financial or legal services and continued education or workforce training.


We are seeking corporate and civic volunteers to support a variety of tasks for this initiative. If you are interested in volunteering, please visit our Volunteer Portal.


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