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Early Childhood
Quality Improvement Summit – West

Long Beach CA
Nov 5-7, 2019

About the West Coast Summit

The Quality Improvement Summit is returning to the West Coast with entirely fresh content.  While continuing to focus on performance measurement and improvement, the event is dedicated to supporting the transition for all program staff.  It focuses on the tools and resources you need to move from traditional compliance to one of measurable program outcomes.  For Head Start programs, it is a unique opportunity for stepping up to Performance Standard requirements around data and continuous quality improvement.


Tues, November 5 – Pre-Summit Training

12:00   Registration / Check In

 1:00    Two concurrent pre-summit training opportunities are available:

Assessing and Strengthening Your Program’s Data Culture
Trainer: Dr. Sheila Brookes

A program’s culture often determines whether it achieves its goals. A culture is defined by beliefs, assumptions, values and ways of interacting, and these intertwined elements can determine success or failure. Working with data is no different.

This interactive training will provide program directors and managers the framework for assessing their program’s culture of data use, with focused time using a new tool: The Culture of Data Use Self-Assessment. This rubric will enable program leaders to determine the status of their working environment and develop an action plan centered on their program’s successes and challenges. It will enable them to make programmatic changes to move along the continuum to a culture of effective data use.

Programs leaders need to know how the following factors affect their culture of data use:

  • Access to data
  • Expectations around data use
  • Leadership commitment
  • Inquiry-based practices
  • Knowledge and skills in using data

These and many related issues will be explored together during this collaborative training.

Head Start programs are in the midst of a major change. In the past, a culture of compliance was sufficient. Today, however, continuous improvement requires new and different analytic skills and a commitment to using data for decision making in real time. Assessing the culture of data use is a vital component to the required transformation. This training will enable program leaders working in groups to determine where they are on a continuum of data use and to plan for program improvements and workforce development, and to identify necessary resources to support these changes.

Preparing Your Program for CQI: A Step by Step Guide for Program Directors and Content Leads
Trainer:  Stuart Jones 

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is the process of identifying an opportunity to improve an area of your program, successfully engaging both managers and staff in doing so, implementing a “tweak”, seeing how it worked, and continuing that cycle, indefinitely.  It is a common part of successful businesses and organizations worldwide.  The world of Head Start/Early Head Start has recently emphasized a strong focus on CQI, however, many of the current Head Start/Early Head Start directors and leaders have not received specific guidance or training in CQI implementation.

This training is designed specifically for Head Start/Early Head Start program directors as well as other senior administrators including content leads. We will focus on tangible, step by step approaches and methods that will help your program successfully prepare for implementing continuous quality improvement projects at your agency, aligned with federal requirements.  The training content is grounded in examples from actual Head Start/Early Head Start programs.

We will be covering emotional safety (how to move past a culture of compliance), effective accountability (how to engage leaders to own their CQI projects and commit to the “continuous” part), storytelling (how to demonstrate your CQI progress aligned with your agency’s goals and objectives), and resources (where and how to start).  Attendees will leave with accessible ideas that will leap out of the conference bag when they return to their desks back home! We’ll also be having fun with some community builders along the way.

5:00 Training Concludes

Wed, November 6 — Summit

8:00     Registration, Coffee & Tea

9:00     Opening Session:   Welcome, Opening Remarks

9:15      Head Start Data Exemplars —  Moderator:  Ashley LiBetti, Panelists: Amanda Colon and Jared Lisonbee

Hear from top performing program featured in a national study published earlier this year, of exemplary Head Start programs.  This in-depth project examined programs that achieved outcomes demonstrably higher than typical Head Start programs by deploying deliberate strategies for their data use.  The panel will be moderated by the author of the study.  We’ll learn from programs that are leading the country incorporating continuous improvement methods as envisioned in the federal Performance Standards.

10:05  Break

10:20    Leadership Strategies for Local Implementation —  Larry Campbell and David Paddison

Achieving strong, accessible data is only the first step.  In this session, we will hear from a program on what they did AFTER they created easy to use dashboards and analytics.  The presenters will address elements of leadership and decision making process along with data displays, and how the team engaged directors and managers through inquiry to shift the culture of their entire organization.

11:20   Hot Topics – small groups

11:45    Break

 1:00    The Journey to Q.I. – Learning from the Experience of Healthcare — Bridget Hogan Cole, MPH

Improvement science always feels new when experiencing it for the first time.  In early childhood, however, we can learn themes, strategies and struggles from others that have preceded us.  Community based healthcare has dozens of years of experience implementing QI – transitioning from quality control to building organizational cultures of quality; all while serving many of the same families that Head Start does.  The Institute for High Quality Care is a training and consulting resource that has shepherded more than 1000 safety net healthcare providers and staff through the implementation of CQI, and in this session we will hear from them what to expect on the journey.

 1:40    Applying this to Your Program – Small groups

 2:10    Educational Equity:  Quality Improvement and The Fierce Urgency of Now  — Dr. Louis Gomez  (Keynote)

Dr. Louis Gomez is a Professor of Education at UCLA and a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, where he supports the application of continuous quality improvement to educational practice.  Noting current disparities in education, Dr. Gomez reports “the heinous educational conditions that cause children to lose their educational lives and social and economic futures exist because we fail to consistently teach many of them to read and think adequately for these times.”   In his keynote, he will address the power of data analysis in illuminating educational disparities and the use of improvement science tools in advancing social equity, and we will engage Dr. Gomez in a dialogue about the application of these tools to early childhood education.

3:10     Break

3:30     Solution Showcase

Sometimes it’s easier to see a demo or hear first-hand from the creator of a new product or resource, than just to read about it.  The Solution Showcase features six diverse innovative early childhood data and quality improvement offerings.  Speakers have been vetted in advance and will present five minute summaries of their resource, with opportunities for participants to follow up with their two top offerings of interest.

4:30     Reception

Thurs, November 7 — Summit

 8:00     Coffee & Tea

 8:30     What Are Parents Trying to Tell Us? Lessons from 1/2 Million Head Start Voices —  Peter Huffaker and April Morris

Come play Family Feud, Head Start Edition! Head Start parents have a lot to tell us about program strategy, structure, and process. This session draws on the lessons from Head Start parent surveys. It pulls in examples of the challenges and triumphs programs experience in using family engagement data. It also looks at indicators of family literacy, how to track it, and how to use the data to help families. And yes, we’ll learn some of those lessons by playing Family Feud.

 9:10     Takeaways and Next Steps – Small Groups

 9:30     Practitioner-Powered Continuous Improvement – Sheetal Singh and Chris Sciarrino

The Early Learning Lab uses human centered design to develop resources for early childhood providers.  Recognizing that staff often struggle to integrate new knowledge acquired from training and professional development, the Lab created QuickCheck®.  This coaching tool was co-designed with teachers and is rooted in behavioral science, to be used with any curriculum and build fluency in teaching practices through goal-setting, self-reflection, and data. This session will provide an overview of why and how the tool has evolved as well as results from the latest pilot.

10:10 Break

10:30   Breakout Sessions:

New CQI Strategies and Play Based Tools to Support Child Assessment and Teacher Coaching —  Dr. Dawn Kurtz and Tammy Kwan

Learn how early childhood programs in Los Angeles are using play based assessment to collect child assessment data, improve accuracy, and make it informative and actionable for ECE educators and families.  Dr. Dawn Kurtz serves as Chief Research Officer for Child360 and Tammy Kwan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Cognitive Toybox.

Creating Data Systems for EHS Home Visiting — Delia Vicente and Reyna Dominguez 

Early Head Start home visiting programs have traditionally collected and organized their information in different ways, making it difficult to roll up data for the purpose of research, benchmarking or policy advocacy.  Recently, however, a group of EHS Home Based programs have begun to coordinate their data around outcomes, home visit attendance, school readiness, resource needs assessment and parent surveys, using  In this interactive workshop, presenters will discuss their journey in data management and opportunities for additional interested programs to participate.

Q.I. Network:  How an Analytics Based Learning Community Works — Rick Mockler, April Morris and Peter Huffaker

Starting in January, a group of Head Start programs is taking a new approach to quality improvement.  Rather than going it alone, they are pooling resources to engage data experts, create dashboards, data warehouses, benchmark reports and secure training and coaching.  Calling themselves the Q.I. Network, this group will support one another through the quality improvement journey, working through common quality implementation challenges.  Learn about the approach and consider whether it might be a fit for your program.

11:30   Luncheon

Keynote:  Data Use in Head Start:  A Transformation or a Paradigm Shift? – Dr. Blanca Enriquez

Dr. Blanca Enriquez’s career has exemplified commitment and service to vulnerable children and families.  She played an instrumental role at the federal Office of Head Start, overseeing the completion of the current Head Start Performance Standards which created new expectations for the use of data to drive program quality.  Dr. Enriquez will reflect on the challenges and opportunities for program leaders in response to these new expectations.


1:00     Breakout Sessions:

Creating Metrics for Quality in Head Start Programs:  A Case Study —  Elizabeth Rodriguez and Joseph Rodriguez

Are you ever asked how your program is doing? When you answer, do you have data to back up your story?  In response to the revised Head Start Program Performance Standards, the presenters began developing a numeric system of service monitoring with proficiency scales and benchmarks, to predict problems before issues arose as well as to identify measurable program outcomes to compare improvements monthly and annually.  Hear about this experimental system and what the presenters are learning from the preliminary data.

We Went Green!:  Documenting non-federal match online — Dr. Jessie Cuadra, Bilguun Erdenbaatar and Nancy Magana

Families are faced with multiple activities in their daily lives demanding some of their time. As Head Start programs strive to highlight parent engagement and partnerships through Non-Federal Match, challenges arise when supporting parents in their consistent and timely submission of NFM documentation. In this session, participants will hear from a Head Start Grantee who identified challenges in their Non-Federal Match system and as a result partnered with its internal Research Division to develop and implement an electronic method of documenting their Non-Federal Match.


 2:00     Summit Adjourns

Nov 5-7, 2019 in Long Beach, CA
Early Intel: Quality Improvement Summit


Reyna Dominguez

Reyna Dominguez has 30 years of experience designing and operating Head Start, Early Head Start, and State Preschool Programs from A to Z and providing consultation to HS/EHS Grantees.  Her greatest passion is being…

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Billy Edenebaatar

Billy Erdenebaatar is focused on helping people use technology to empower and improve their work. He works as a Research Analyst in the Data Science Innovation team at Child Care…

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Nancy Magaña

Nancy Magaña has a deep appreciation working for a Head Start program, its staff, parents and children. She has 20 years of experience working for various Head Start programs in…

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Dr. Jessie Cuadra

15 years ago Dr. Jessie Cuadra entered the early childhood education field with the desire to positively impact children’s childhood experiences by partnering with the adults who care for them.…

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Renee Nogales

Principal, Early Childhood Partnerships, LENA

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Reggie Bicha

Reggie Bicha is the Executive Director of Shine Early Learning. He is a social worker, administrator, educator and national leader. In addition to his work in early learning, he has…

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Bridget Hogan Cole, MPH

Bridget serves as the Executive Director for the Institute for High Quality Care, where she brings expertise in capacity building, quality and process improvement and applied learning to guide participating…

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Amanda Colon

Amanda joined Acelero Learning - Monmouth/Middlesex in 2011 and in May 2015 became the Interim Co-Executive Director. Amanda previously served as Director of Education, overseeing 10 sites and leading the education team through its successful…

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Dr. Louis Gomez

Louis Gomez is Professor of Education (and of Information Studies) at the University of California, Los Angeles. Gomez has served since 2008 as a senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for…

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Delia Vicente

Delia Vicente, M.A. is the Executive Director of the UCLA Early Head Start Program. Ms. Vicente has over 15 years of expertise in the area of home visiting. She has…

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Sheetal Sing

Sheetal’s work at the Lab builds upon 15 years of experience in digital media and technology for social innovation. As the executive director, she leads the Lab’s mission to bring…

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Chris Sciarrino

As Director of Early Childhood Practice and Innovation, Chris brings more than 40 years of early childhood field experience to The Lab. She works alongside three California communities to co-create…

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Dr. Dawn Kurtz

Dawn A. Kurtz, Ph.D. has worked in the Child Development and Early Childhood Education (ECE) fields for more than 20 years. Currently Dawn is the Chief Research Officer, leading research…

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Larry Campbell

Larry Campbell serves as the Executive Director of Catholic Charities Community Services Head Start and Early Head Start program located in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. Larry has more than…

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David Paddison

Before starting Impact Analytics, Dave Paddison spent sixteen years as a nonprofit executive serving primarily in key finance and technology roles, leading numerous organizational projects that utilized performance metrics to…

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Dr. Greg Dixon

With over 20 years in higher education, Dr. Greg brings his experience as an award-winning professor and applied social scientist to the Acorn team. Dr. Greg served as an Associate…

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Tammy Kwan

Co-Founder & CEO, Cognitive ToyBox

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Dr. Jared Lisonbee

Dr. Jared Lisonbee is the Research Analyst for Utah Community Action Head Start in Salt Lake City where he leads the research tracking and quality improvement initiatives for the program.…

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Rick Mockler

Rick Mockler serves as Principal of Early Intel, a firm specializing in performance data and quality improvement for early childhood providers. He previously  served as Chief Quality Improvement Officer for…

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Dr. Sheila Brookes

Dr. Sheila Brookes is a Research Analyst at AEM Corp. with expertise in data analysis, screening, assessments, home visiting, and public policy. She has a Ph. D. in Human Development…

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Dr. Blanca Enriquez

Dr. Enriquez began her early childhood career as a teacher assistant while completing her undergraduate degree as an elementary school teacher. This experience ignited her passion for advancing young children’s…

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Ashley LiBetti

Ashley LiBetti is an associate partner with Bellwether Education Partners in the Policy and Evaluation practice area. Since joining Bellwether in 2013, Ashley has developed deep expertise in early childhood…

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Stuart Jones

As CEO/Partner of Acorn Evaluation, Inc., Stuart Jones leads a talented team of experienced project staff that help Head Start/Early Head Start grantees throughout the country design and implement continuous…

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Peter Huffaker

Peter Huffaker is a founding partner of CCR Analytics, a company that specializes in helping early education agencies get the most value from the data they collect.  He has a…

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April Morris

April Morris is a founding partner of CCR Analytics. Prior to starting CCR Analytics in 2006, April was a Senior Data Analyst at child care non-profits Crystal Stairs and Child…

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Pre-Summit Training – November 5:

Half-day training: $165

Summit – November 6-7:

Early Registration: $485 (thru Sept 6)
Regular Registration: $545 (Sept 7 – Oct 25)
Late/Onsite Registration: $615 (space permitting)

Registration is being managed by the Region 9 Head Start Association.

Exhibitors and Sponsors

The Q.I. Summit is a great opportunity to connect with early childhood program directors and managers who are leading the way around data and quality improvement. For details on exhibitor, advertising or sponsorship opportunities, click the button below.

Thanks to our event sponsor


The Summit will be held at the Westin Long Beach, located in the heart of the convention district in Long Beach, California and walkable to many restaurants, entertainment and a beautiful waterfront. The area was recently named by the Washington Post as enjoying “the most nice weather days” of any city in the country.

Although the hotel deadline has passed, a limited number of hotel rooms are still available at the special Summit rate.  In order to reserve one of these rooms, email with your arrival and departure dates.


Event Location

Westin Long Beach
333 E Ocean Blvd
Long Beach, California


What People are Saying

Participant feedback from the 2018 Summit

“I’ll be sharing a lot with my team about presenting and analyzing data and about chronic absence. Got new and relevant ideas. Very applicable to our work.”

“Learning about various data collection tools was really valuable.”

“Panel discussion and speakers were all excellent! Stuart’s ability to engage and demonstrate examples of how to make data tell a story was so beneficial. Thank you!”

“Examples of real data….it opened my eyes as to what to collect and what to do with what we’ve collected for CQI.”

“The hands on “real” tools and strategies to help us do this work at home is invaluable.”

“Opening panel was full of ah-hah! Moments and it set the tone and expectations for the rest of the event.”

“The topic and the varied speakers were great. Loved the variety.”

“All the information was amazing. I like that I didn’t have to choose which sessions to attend.”


For questions on registration, contact
Fernando Alvarenga
916-259-0971 ext. 102

For program and content questions, contact
Marcia Durst

Event Flyer

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