The Community Partnership recently honored five area child care providers during its August board meeting.
These child care providers achieved accreditation in the past year from the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting quality child care by strengthening the profession of family child care.
"Accreditation is above and beyond state licensing," said Kathy Taber, the Community Partnership's Early Care and Education (ECE) program director. "The process of earning accreditation is long and strenuous. It requires the child care provider to complete a comprehensive study and evaluation using the quality standards for NAFCC accreditation, and to make quality improvements to their program.
“This study and improvement process often takes years to complete. After determining the provider's eligibility, an NAFCC-trained observer is assigned to visit the program and conduct an observation,” Taber added. “The observation results and provider study documentation are reviewed by a panel who makes the decision to award accreditation status."
The Community Partnership's ECE program helped with training and education, as well as obtaining the high quality educational materials and equipment needed to achieve accreditation.
"We're proud of what these providers have accomplished," said Mike Thompson, board chairman of the Community Partnership. "Achieving accreditation shows that they are deeply committed to providing high quality child care.
“Research suggests that over 90 percent of brain development occurs before age 5, and approximately 60 percent of children from birth to 5 years old have both parents working and are in child care during these formative years,” Thompson said.
“This makes the role of child care workers more important than ever. Our ECE program suffered some rough budget cuts this past year, but with hard work and determination, and an individual donation, we were able to see these providers complete the process,” Thompson added.
Working with all five child care professionals to reach their goal of accreditation was Karen Daily, ECE specialist.
Receiving awards at the reception were Sue Seifart, of Rosey Cozy Cottage in Rolla; Jill Keeney of Keeney's Early Learning Center in St. James; Ruth Diaz of Wee Care in Steelville; Susan Turner of Wee Care Too in Steelville; and Deb Hutson of Deb's Babies and Tots in Rolla.
For more information about the Community Partnership and the Early Care and Education program, visit www.thecommunitypartnership.org or the Community Partnership’s Facebook page.