CARES Plus Round 2 Overview

First 5 California Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES) Plus is a statewide professional development program for early educators. The program is designed to improve the quality of early learning programs. It focuses on increasing teacher skills, effectiveness, education, and retention. The main objectives are to improve both the quality of early learning programs, and ultimately, improve young children’s learning and developmental outcomes. There are 35 counties across California providing CARES Plus program services at the local level in Round 2, 2014-15 program year. It is anticipated that 5,000 early educators will enroll in the program. Cares Plus is funded by First 5 California in partnership with participating counties.

CARES Plus County Lead Agencies design local CARES Plus programs by providing CORE Requirements and choosing from four professional development options that include: Components A, B, C, and/or D. See CARES Plus Annual, CORE and Component Requirements for more information. Within the CARES Plus options there are provisions for stipends, training, and higher education access that collectively serve to support participants by increasing their teacher effectiveness and qualifications in early childhood education. Contact your local CARES Plus County Lead Agency for additional information regarding your county's program.

CARES Plus Stakeholders

There are several distinct roles held by individuals and agencies to implement the CARES Plus program. Below is information about these entities and their role in the program.

  1. CARES Plus Participants
    CARES Plus participants are early childhood educators who have enrolled in CARES Plus programs in participating CARES Plus counties.
  2. CARES Plus My Teaching Partner™ Participants
    My Teaching Partner (MTP™) participants are enrolled in an intensive one-on-one professional growth coaching program. CARES Plus counties have the option of offering Component D, MTP.
  3. CARES Plus CLASS® Observations
    CLASS Observations are conducted on a selected group of participants of the CARES Plus program and all MTP participants. These observations are intended to provide a common lens for assessing the quality of teacher-child interactions in the early care setting.
  4. CARES Plus Coaches/Observers
    Coaches are assigned to MTP participants to provide on-going one-on-one coaching throughout the program year. Observers code fall and spring CLASS observations or conduct in-person observations of selected CARES Plus participants.
  5. First 5 California
    First 5 California, funded through Proposition 10, offers Child, Parent, and Teacher Signature Programs. Collectively, these programs are an investment in improving home and early learning environments to increase each child’s chance of success in school. CARES Plus is a state wide professional development program focused on increasing the quality of the early learning workforce.
  6. CARES Plus County Lead Agency
    CARES Plus County Lead Agencies at the local level are in charge of implementation and oversight of the CARES Plus program in their county.
  7. Teachstone, LLC
    Teachstone contracts with First 5 California to implement and provide training and technical assistance to coaches/observers as they conduct intensive one-on-one coaching with CARES Plus participants.
  8. Child Development Training Consortium
    Child Development Training Consortium (CDTC) is a collaborating partner with First 5 California and Teachstone in implementing the CARES Plus State Coaching Program. CDTC maintains a contract with First 5 California that oversees the work of the coaches/observers, and provides technical assistance and equipment/materials to participants and County Lead Agencies.