First 5 Calaveras serves as the lead agency
in two Countywide programs.

     Strong Start Calaveras logoTalk Read Sing Calaveras

Strong Start Calaveras

 Strong Start Calaveras Logo

A quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) for early learning programs. This grant funded program offers incentives for
Calaveras child care sites/homes and teachers for quality improvement and continuing education.

Why does quality matter? Research continues to show that high-quality early learning and care programs have a lifelong, positive impact on young children and their families.

What is a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)? Click to learn more:

Click box for parent and family info                       Click box for providers info
Star Image

  Click the star to see Participating Strong Start Calaveras sites and Ratings!


To learn more about QRIS efforts in California, visit Quality Counts at the link above.

If you are a Calaveras child care provider, please contact us for more information on how to participate.

Online Training and Webinars for Early Childhood Educators

California Early Childhood Online

California Early Childhood Online - This website hosts online training in the following areas:

  • Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) (20 hrs.)
  • CSEFEL (Center for Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning) Teaching Pyramid (3 hrs.)
  • California Early Learning Foundations and Curriculum Framework (45 hrs.)       
  • 3 R’s of Early Childhood Relationships, Resilience, Readiness (6 hrs.)
  • Healthy and Active Preschoolers (10 hrs.)
  • Implementing the Protective Factors Framework (14 hours)

You must register for this website and retain your password. Training is free and counts for professional development.

Strengthening Families Protective Families Framework

Children’s Trust Fund Alliance - This online Training and self-assessment focuses on family engagement and supporting parents. Each course includes required lessons with videos, an end-of-course quiz, portfolio assignments, an individual action plan assignment, and a certificate of course completion. The online training is free of charge and funded through the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention.

California Early Childhood Educator Competency Series

California Early Childhood Educator Competency Series (WestEd) is a self-paced, online, professional development tool from the California Department of Education to help early childhood educators learn about the Early Childhood Educator Competencies. The Series includes an introductory video and twelve 15- to 20-minute videos, one for each Competency Context. Through interviews and examples, each video guides the viewer through the professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions of the Early Childhood Educator Competencies.

Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing Concerns

Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing Concerns provides tools and best practices to help you work with families to monitor the development of every child in your care, share your concerns with families in a positive way, and help families get connected to services and support that can make a real difference.  The 1-hour training is FREE, available online, and is approved for continuing education credit.  Take the training today and help make a difference in the lives of all the children in your care!

Kaplan/Quorum Courses

The National Center for Quality Teaching and Learning

The National Center for Quality Teaching and Learning, funded by the Office of Head Start, offers several online resources that can be used by participants to satisfy professional development requirements:

15-Minute In-Service Suites address effective teaching and assessment practices. Each of the 25 in-services consist of a short video and downloadable resources.

Teacher Time Webinars are 45-minute archived online discussions hosted by early childhood education experts on topics unique to the joys and challenges that teachers face every day.

The Front Porch Series consists of 45-minute live and archived broadcasts presented by well-known researchers and other leaders on research and implications for practical application.

Professional Development to Go (PD2GO) packs

WestEd’s Early Education Effective Exchange developed Professional Development to Go (PD2GO) packs (English and Spanish), a collection of professional development experiences designed in individual, easy-to-use 15-minute "packs" focusing on continuous quality improvement in early learning programs. The 15-minute packs are supported by a suite of comprehensive resources designed to extend learning, help participants "dig deeper" into the topic, and build their skill capacity. PD2GO packs are organized in three comprehensive learning strands: Systems Thinking, Evidence and Effectiveness, and Intentional Interactions in Teaching. They also are organized by themes: Family Engagement, Dual Language Learners, and Supporting Individualization. Each pack includes an animated Power Point presentation, Facilitator Guide, and Handouts. They were designed for use in small groups by center directors and family child care providers with their staff.

Early Childhood Investigations

Early Childhood Investigations is an ongoing series of conference-quality free webinars for early childhood educators. The series is produced by Fran S. Simon, M.Ed., Chief Engagement Officer of Engagement Strategies, LLC.  These engaging webinars are presented by many of the thought-leaders and experts in the field of early care and education. The webinars explore critical topics that offer new ideas and insights to early childhood professionals, especially administrators. Please note: most webinars are scheduled on Eastern Time so adjust the start time!

California Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN)

California Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN) is brought to you by the California Department of Education, Early Education and Support Division in collaboration with the Center for Child and Family Studies at WestEd and the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA). CPIN provides high quality professional development for preschool administrators and teachers highlighting current research-based information, resources, and effective instructional practices which are focused on preparing children to flourish in early childhood and succeed in elementary school and beyond.

Second Step Early Learning Program

Second Step Early Learning Program

Help your littlest learners harness their potential by teaching them to listen, control their behavior, and get along with others. Students enter kindergarten set up for success with the self-regulation and social-emotional skills taught in the research-based Second Step Program. Due to the fact that Second Step Early Learning Program does not provide completion certifications you will need to complete a “Professional Development Summary Template”. 

Family Child Care Specific Training

California Early Childhood Online ( CECO)

Gee Whiz Education Great free activities and trainings

Business Practices in Family Child Care • 5 modules/7.5 hours total • Available in English and Spanish

Module 1: An Introduction to Best Business Practices in Family Child Care

Module 2: Family Child Care Business Plan (Part 1–Program Planning) 2

Module 3: Family Child Care Business Plan (Part 2–Liability) 2

Module 4: Family Child Care Business Plan (Part 3 Finances and Record Keeping) 2 hours

Module 5: Sustainability in Family Child Care 2

Additional Online Trainings and Resources

Pro Solutions Training – Numerous online trainings

High Scope – Online Training, curriculum planning and more

Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance System - Online trainings- focus on school age, after school and summer

Connect4Learning - Online trainings and preschool curriculum information

Achieve OnDemand - Online training and information – Home Visitor Specific

Child Care Aware -  Does not offer trainings, but has a lot of great information and resources

Conscious Discipline – FREE online trainings for 60 days (during “shelter in place”) – lots of great resources and trainings

Teaching For Change - free anti-bias and diversity curriculum and articles

Teaching Tolerance - This is a great FREE online resource that has anti-bias frameworks, curriculum, articles, magazines and SO much more.

EarlyEdU Alliance

The EarlyEdU Alliance® transforms early childhood teacher preparation by closing the opportunity gap through a collaboration of early childhood experts and stakeholders working to provide high-quality college degree programs that are accessible, affordable, relevant, and effective for current and prospective early learning professionals.

For a short time, the EarlyEdU Media Library is accessible to all! Follow this link to register for an account.

Center for Optimal Brain Integration

Center for Optimal Brain Integration trains, coaches and consults on trauma-responsive practices and strategies.

Classroom Accommodations for Kids with Sensory Issues

Talk Read Sing Calaveras

 Talk Read Sing Calaveras Logo

Promoting early literacy and books for young children through community partnerships. 

Our Mission:

  • Enhance quality interactions between parent and child.
  • Increase the number of quality, age-appropriate books in young children’s homes.
  • Encourage parents and older siblings to read to their child/sibling 15 minutes per day.

Little Free Library Map Calaveras

First 5 Funded Programs

The Resource Connection logo

Kid’s Farmers Market:

Through The Resource Connection Food Bank, children ages 3-5 years old engage in hands-on learning regarding fruits, vegetables, and healthy nutrition. They prepare a meal with fresh produce and receive the recipe and ingredients to take home to share with their families. Preschool children participate in their own Farmer’s Market and select produce of their choice. Each participant takes home a 20 lb. bag of fresh, in season local vegetables and fruits.

Quality Improvement Stipend Program:

Through The Resource Connection Resource & Referral, provides stipends for early education professional development and increased quality in family childcare homes.

S.A.F.E. Self Preschool Program:

The Resource Connection Prevention Team visits local preschools to educate young children in regards to personal safety. Puppets, stories, songs, and art are used to engage children in lessons such as car and street safety, safe touch, feelings, kindness, assertiveness, stranger danger, household safety, and getting an adult for help and support. Parents learn safety skills and strategies to use with their child.

Raising a Reader Home Visiting:

A Home Visitor from The Resource Connection Early Childhood Programs assists families that do not meet the qualifications for Head Start/Early Head Start and/or those that have other barriers that prevent them from enrolling in local childcare sites in the use of early literacy materials and focused child development resources. In addition to focused curriculum, children receive developmental screenings. Parents receive referrals and resources to access appropriate services for child and family needs.

Building Healthy Kids, Families, and Communities

Gardens to grow in logo

Gardens to Grow In engages children 3-5 years old in research based, garden enhanced nutrition education. Parents and teachers participate in nutrition lessons, learn how to maintain classroom gardens, and how to incorporate social-emotional learning into the program. The construction of and/or the improvement of existing preschool/school garden spaces is an integral part of this program, creating access to healthy foods for children and their families.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Calaveras

Nexus  Logo

The CASA program provided by Nexus Youth and Family Services trains volunteers that advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children 0-5 years old who are dependents of the Court. Each advocate acts as a trusted mentor and assists children in receiving appropriate assessments and services, including preschool or early childcare, ensure a concurrent permanency plan is in place, and improves the overall wellness of the children they serve.

Calaveras Children’s Dental Project

County Office of Education logo

The Calaveras Children’s Dental Project, through Calaveras County Office of Education provides dental services including fluoride treatments, screenings and referrals for children birth through five years old. Children with urgent dental needs receive case management and facilitated access to treatment. Parents are given information on early oral health education.

Little Leapers Early Literacy Program

  Calaveras County seal  
Calaveras County Library

Enroll your children in this program with the Calaveras County Library to increase early literacy/pre-kindergarten reading skills. Families will engage in reading to their young child 15 minutes a day and learn to “unplug” and maintain quality interactions with technology. Early literacy curriculum and resource kits will be available for use in each County Library branch and local family childcare homes.


BMCYF Playgroup flyer

Mini-Grants Awarded for FY 2019-20

Community Event Mini-Grants

Children's Fair (The Resource Connection)

Kid’s Day in the Garden (UC Extension Master Gardeners)

Early Literacy Mini-Grants

Arnold Branch Library (Baby & Toddler Early Literacy)

Valley Springs Branch Library (Learning with Toys)

West Point Branch Library (West Point Early Literacy)

Family Child Care Fire Alarm Mini-Grants - Funds still available – Contact us for more information!

Library Mini-Grants

Angels Camp Friends of the Library (Story Time)

Arnold Friends of the Library (0 to 5 Books)

Copperopolis Branch Library (Kids in the Kitchen)

Mokelumne Hill Friends of the Library (Story Time)

Murphys Branch Library (Duplo Design Days)

San Andreas Main Library (Patio Play)

Valley Springs Friends of the Library (A Book for Each Child & Story Time)

West Point Friends of the Library (Story Time)

Physical Activities Mini-Grants - Funds still available – Contact us for more information!

Playgroup Mini-Grants

Prevent Child Abuse Council Calaveras Mini-Grants

Kid's Day in the Garden (UC Extension Master Gardeners)

No Cost Child Counseling (Mind Matters Clinic)

Mini-Grant Final Reports are due within 30 days of funded activity or June 4, 2020, whichever comes first.

Mini-Grant Final Report Form 2019-20