‘Quality Rated’ Early Education Program Launches In Valdosta

| September 10, 2013

Brookfield-Academy-Quality-Rated Valdosta, GA- Valdosta’s first Quality Rated early education program opened its doors today to community leaders and educators to learn more about the process and its benefits to young students. Brookfield Academy Directors Stacie Dean and Nicole Holder welcomed representatives from the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS), the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), Valdosta State University and students from Lowndes County high school. The tour was intended to highlight the Quality Rated process and its improved standards for Georgia’s childcare centers.

“We have always been about quality. That’s always been important to us,” said Holder. “So this was just second nature for us to be a part of this program so that we could do anything to improve upon the high quality care we already provide to our staff and our children.”

State Representative Amy Carter, who teaches “Teaching for a Profession” to Lowndes County high school students, brought her class to Brookfield Academy to impress upon them that the first years are vital in a child’s education. “It is critical that we ensure quality early education programs so students can begin school prepared and ready to learn,” Carter explains.

Quality Rated is Georgia’s new voluntary system to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early care and education programs. Similar to rating systems for other service industries like restaurants and hotels, Quality Rated uses one, two and three stars to indicate early care and education programs that meet a set of standards exceeding the state’s minimum licensing requirements.

Programs choosing to participate in Quality Rated become eligible for free professional development, technical assistance, and financial incentive packages supported by foundations and businesses. Star-rated programs will receive tiered bonuses in the state/federal reimbursements they receive from Georgia’s Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) Program, which provides subsidized child care for low income families.

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