Teacher Signature Program

Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES) Plus


The Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES) Program is First 5 California's Teacher Signature program. Launched in 2000, CARES Plus serves as a way to increase teacher/child interactions and retain the highest qualified early education teachers, therefore increasing the quality of student education.
CARES Plus builds upon the positive impact of the original CARES program. It is designed to increase the quality of early learning programs for children 0 to 5 and their families by supporting the education and preparation of an effective, well-compensated, and diverse early learning workforce. The "Plus" represents an enhancement of earlier CARES components, such as a strong focus on outcomes and accountability, and expanding the Higher Education Plans to Higher Education Quality Pathway Partnerships.

On October 17, 2012, the State Commission approved up to $14 million per year for CARES Plus for three years (July 1, 2013 June 30, 2016).

Additional information about CARES Plus is provided in the CARES Plus Fact Sheet.

CARES Plus - Round 2 RFA

Originally launched in 2000 as a match funding program with 44 participating counties, the CARES program was lauded for its success and was expanded upon in 2010 as the CARES Plus program. CARES Plus builds upon the positive impact of the original CARES program. It is designed to increase the quality of early learning programs for children 0 to 5 and their families by supporting the education and preparation of an effective, well-compensated, and diverse early learning workforce. The "Plus" represents an enhancement of earlier CARES components, such as a strong focus on outcomes and accountability, and expanding the Higher Education Plans to Higher Education Quality Pathway Partnerships.

On October 17, 2012, the State Commission approved up to $14 million per year for CARES Plus for three years (July 1, 2013 June 30, 2016).

CARES Plus - Round 2 RFA

  • For archival purposes, the CARES Plus Round 2 RFA may be downloaded by selecting this link. You may need WinZip or Winrar to open this compressed file.

CARES Plus - Round 2 - Intent to Award

CARES Plus - Round 2 - RFA FAQs AND Webinars

CARES Plus - Round 2 - Forms and Notifications

This section of the CARES Plus web page has been designed to provide information for Lead Agencies currently operating CARES Plus programs. The information included below will inform local implementation efforts and highlight state-level requirements. This information will be updated regularly, so please check back often.

Policy Memos

Notifications (N)

Lead Agency Forms (LA)

Participant Forms (P)

CARES Plus - Round 2 - Fiscal and reporting requirements

CARES Plus - Round 2 - Regional Webinars and Conference Calls

CARES Plus - Round 2 - Conference Calls

    CARES Plus CARES Plus Program Management Tools Webinar October 30, 2014 CARES Plus Regional Conference Call March 7, 2014

CARES Plus - Round 2 - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Contact Us

If you would like to submit a question or comment regarding the CARES Plus program, you can do so by sending an e-mail to . In the subject line, reference the specific program corresponding to the inquiry.

CARES Plus County Contact Information