The Power of Quality Connections
It was more than a decade ago that Dr. Zoobi Waqar began her work in early childhood education in San Francisco. “Through my experiences I have gained an understanding for the profound way parents are affected by the care and education of their children,” said Zoobi. What started as a call to work with children has grown into a passion for increasing the level of quality throughout the early care and education field. A skilled professional who knows how to work within neighborhoods and with different populations, Zoobi now leads First 5 San Francisco’s quality rating activities under the City’s quality rating and improvement system (QRIS).
“Raising quality for early educators, parents, and young children — that’s where the heart of Quality Connections is, in my experience,” said Zoobi. “I see progress at the programs in many ways. Children know how to express when they are upset. They are able to communicate their needs and follow teacher expectations. Teachers tell me that the coaching and trainings have helped them to self-reflect and enhance their skill sets to help children develop to their fullest potential. These insightful experiences make me feel energized and confirm programs’ progress in quality,” she added.
Zoobi’s work with early educators has stressed continuous dialogue and strong relationships. “The building of dialogue through Quality Connections has opened up opportunities for us [early educators] to gain a better understanding of the purpose behind QRIS,” said Elena Ramirez a family child care educator in the Sunnyside area. “I have learned from advisors like Zoobi. Building connections with other educators has enabled me to be a part of a supportive community, and it has provided my children with the highest quality care possible.”
As of today, Zoobi has worked to improve quality in more than 200 early education sites in San Francisco.
“We aim for all early education programs and providers to join a collective effort to continuously improve practice, fundamentally transforming the system of support for babies, young children, and their families,” said Ingrid Mezquita, Executive Director of First 5 San Francisco. “Zoobi and the community at large are making that a reality.”
To find a Quality Connections site in your neighborhood or to learn more about the services and opportunities available to participating sites, visit San Francisco Quality Connections.