In 2008 the Raising the Bar Quality Initiative (RTB) was launched in our community. This initiative was integral in supporting early learning agencies to align their programs with best practice through the development of policies & program statements; professional learning opportunities; network groups, a professional resource library, an annual conference and 3rd party environmental assessments. A RTB advisory committee oversaw this initiative and had representation from Child Care/Nursery Schools, Child and Family Centres, Peterborough Public Health, Five Counties Children’s Centre and the City of Peterborough.
A strategic plan was conducted with relevant stakeholders in 2015 to determine the strategic directions for IIQ moving forward. Raising the Bar transformed into the Investing in Quality Initiative (IIQ) as a result of this process. Four strategic directions were identified: 1. Champion Professional Learning that Influences Best Practice, 2. Enhance Learning through Mentorship, 3. Meaningful Measurement for Quality Improvement, 4. Organizational Alignment that Supports Transformation. Services that were offered to the community during this phase were professional learning opportunities, a yearly conference, 3rd party visits, peer dialogue days, an early childhood employment registry as well as a professional resource library.
2018 and onward
As a result of an intensive work-plan of the Investing in Quality working group a new “Engagement” process was developed. It was determined that an integrated model of quality support would be implemented. The Investing in Quality program moved to Five Counties Children’s Centre and now is under the auspices of this organization. The Investing in Quality staff (Quality Coordinators) now work directly with and are part of the Resource Consultant team (RCs). The IIQ working group members are a committee of the Early Years Peterborough Planning Network (EYPN).
The “Engagement” process for the quality initiative is to support the growth of capacity of our community by mentoring supervisors. To help with the reflective mentoring process, tools have been developed that will guide our thinking and
dialogue through a lens of How Does Learning Happen? and from a leadership perspective. Programs that participate in the Quality Initiative will submit a yearly Quality Enhancement Plan based on standardized parent and staff surveys, environmental assessments and the Education Reflection Tool. Professional learning, networks, a resource library, yearly conference and peer dialogue days are still thriving aspects of this program.