Quality Start Riverside County (QSRC) understands that the early education community needs a structured forum to share successes and work through challenges. Training and coaching are available to the early care and education community; however, learning from peers can be equally beneficial.
What is a Community of Practice?
“Communities of Practice are groups of people who share a passion for something they do and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better.” – Etienne Wenger
In short, a Communities of Practice (CoP) is a group of people with a common interest who meet on a regular basis to address individual and group goals. The group works together to address common issues or concerns, support one another, and bring about ideas to help the entire early care and education community succeed.
Communities of Practice for QSRC are:
- Peer-to-peer collaborative networks
- Focused on learning, growing, and sharing
- A safe place for knowledge-sharing, developing knowledge, and addressing common issues
- Facilitated by members of the group
- Open to any QSRC participants
Through QSRC Communities of Practice, which are held throughout the county, in English and Spanish, early learning providers are connected with other professionals to learn from one another and improve their skills around specific topics to improve the quality of services they provide to children and families.
Quality Start Coaches facilitate and support the providers in determining the topics to be discussed during the COP gatherings. Topics can vary from addressing areas for improvement with the classroom environments, teacher-child interactions, curriculum, assessment and screening tools, challenging behaviors, parent partnerships and business practices.
At a Community of Practice in Murrieta, Kim and Jim Meyer, owners of Little Explores Family Child Care Home in Menifee, presented on Child Care Best Business Practices. They shared their approach on marketing ideas, tuition contract, collecting money, managing employees, keeping records, doing taxes, securing insurance, and licensing issues. Their presentation was very detailed with handouts, books, and sample forms.
Another recent Community of Practice was held in Palm Desert, where providers, Sue Andrews (Cathedral City) and Priscilla Blancarte (Cathedral City) shared best practices for appropriate diapering and handwashing techniques. The presenters brought props to actively engage and provided handouts to share resources based on best practice.
For more information
Contact your QSRC Coach to find upcoming Community of Practice sessions, where you will be connected with other local professionals to learn from one another and improve your skills around specific topics. Participation can be applied toward professional development hours and Child Development Permit applications and renewals.