What is Continuous Quality Improvement?

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is intended to improve the quality of services delivered by community programs in Guilford County. CQI is a philosophy, technical process, and way of work that, on an ongoing basis, uses data to identify challenges or opportunities for improvement, define what optimal quality would look like, and test change efforts to determine whether or not outcomes have been improved. It is the process of identifying, describing, and analyzing strengths and problems and then testing, implementing, learning from, and revising solutions.
Cohort I and II program staff from the YWCA Greensboro share their experience with guests visiting from the Spartanburg Academic Movement in January 2023.
Cohort I and II program staff from the YWCA Greensboro share their experience with guests visiting from the Spartanburg Academic Movement in January 2023.

Want to learn more about CQI?

Contact CQI Manager Kelli Crawford at kellic@getreadyguilford.org

How CQI works: A partnership between community organizations and Ready Ready

We envision a cohort of service providers who exemplify the building of a culture of continuous improvement, with cohort programs modeling and championing CQI across the entire early childhood landscape system upon successful completion of the program. As a backbone organization, Ready Ready will provide coaching to assess and strengthen the capacity of each program in their ability to track, share, and use data for continuous improvement. We will improve quality and responsiveness among programs so that families can effectively leverage these services. We will build on organization and community strengths, and align resources to address gaps and improve outcomes. In this way, Ready Ready is building a connected, innovative system of care for Guilford County’s youngest children and their families.

Cohort programs provide services that help pregnant persons or families with very young children thrive by addressing children’s developmental, emotional, or behavioral needs, addressing concrete family needs, and emphasizing the most referred or demanded services based on available information. Programs demonstrate a commitment to building on family strengths and working with parents and caregivers as experts. Their desire to participate in the program demonstrates a commitment to driving population-level outcomes by helping build an early childhood system, engaging in continuous improvement coaching, participating in service coordination among providers, providing necessary data, and improving their work.

The organizations and programs that have participated in the Ready Ready CQI process came away with concrete ideas about how to improve capacity, satisfaction, or resources. The short video below includes some of their testimonials.

As programs build capacity through CQI, we anticipate a positive impact on family outcomes. The CQI Learning Community will facilitate collaboration amongst programs to provide families with services and resources aligned with their needs. Cohort programs meet monthly with one another and with a team of facilitators from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work and Population Health Improvement Partners. As programs grow, they can be proactive (vs reactive) around resource planning and capacity building. CQI will be essential in that process.

Using the Plan-Do-Study-Act Cycle, participants learn how to test improvement ideas and potential changes before deciding what to implement on a larger scale.

Ready Ready has used a new CQI framework, the Model for Improvement, in collaboration with the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work.  MFI is a simple, yet powerful tool for continuous quality improvement. In Guilford County, Ready Ready is using the MFI as a framework for embodying values around being family-led and response to evidence by using data on family satisfaction and experience to guide program improvement.

Partner programs received funding through The Duke Endowment and Blue Meridian Partners to support the staff time and resources required for successful implementation.

CQI Cohorts

Thirteen organizations began CQI work in 2019 to enhance the quality of family services. These social service providers focused on promoting early childhood health and kindergarten readiness. Learn more about Cohort I and their work here.

Cohort I, Part 2: June-October 2022

Every Baby Guilford Adopt-A-Mom
Family Service of the Piedmont Healthy Start
UNCG Bringing Out the Best
YWCA Greensboro Teen Parent Mentor Program

Cohort II: September 2022-March 2023

BackPack Beginnings Family Market
The Barnabas Network Furnishing the Change
The Center for New North Carolinians Immigration Services
The Center for New North Carolinians Thriving at Three
Children and Families First Mental Health Curriculum
Greensboro Housing Authority Life Success University
GuilfordWorks NextGen Young Adult Services
The Kellin Foundation Child Response Initiative
Out of the Garden Project Food Supply and Storage
Positive Direction for Youth and Families Community Garden Project
Ready for School, Ready for Life Community Alignment
Room at the Inn Strategic Plan Support
Triad Goodwill Opportunity Accelerator
Women’s Resource Center Capacity Improvement Plan
YWCA Greensboro Emergency Family Shelter


The process map was one of the most helpful things we did.  The timing was key for us and both the training and funding came at a great time, as we launched a new program (Family Market) just a few months before CQI training started. The funding helped us make sure the new program was a success from the outright and the training introduced great conversations and identified issues that needed attention.

— Parker White, Executive Director

The Kellin Foundation team realized we have been doing a lot of CQI work. However, we were not talking about it using CQI language and utilizing all of the CQI processes. So, a big ‘aha’ moment has been to update our team with the CQI language and ensure that our full team is regularly engaging in the CQI process.

–Lylan Wingfeld, Deputy Director

After conducting the participant satisfaction survey that we developed through our CQI training, we analyzed the feedback collected with the survey and learned more than we expected. We plan to conduct the survey a few more times while we determine what changes to make to improve our shelter program.

— Tiffany Dumas, Emergency Family Shelter Director

We think that this program is incredible. We would absolutely recommend it to other organizations because of how it has impacted Out of the Garden Project. It has shown us that we have an opportunity to be better communicators – and it is continuing to teach us the importance of continual improvement.

— Beth Crise, Assistant Director and Director of Operations

Resource Library/Online Classroom

The CQI Resource Library was created as part of a community-wide effort during Cohort I. This resource includes information about the framework, process, cycle, principles, case studies, and webinars. 

The CQI online learning community uses Moodle, an open-source learning management system that is free to download, modify, and share with others. Current participating partners may use the Moodle button below.