In recognition of its excellent child care program and its ongoing commitment to children, the Evergreen Child Development Center at Washington State Community College has received a Three-Star rating through the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services' Step Up to Quality program.
Step Up to Quality is a voluntary quality rating system for Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) licensed child care programs. The ODJFS is the state agency responsible for licensing and promoting high standards among Ohio's child care programs. Participating programs in Step Up can earn a one, two or three-star rating by meeting an extensive list of quality benchmarks. Experts say those benchmarks help improve the growth and development potential of children.
Amy Beardmore, director of the center, describes the Step Up program as a "report card parents can use when looking for excellent child care."
According to Beardmore, the Evergreen Child Development Center is the only center in Washington County and has been the only one to receive three stars - the highest rating possible. "Three- Star rating lets parents know that we are committed to maintaining the highest quality of care," says Beardmore, "They can be assured that their child is receiving a level of quality that exceeds Ohio's child care licensing standards."
The ODJFS licenses over 4,000 child care centers throughout the state. The Evergreen Center was one of only 180 centers state-wide to achieve three stars. The Center has participated in Step Up since 2007 and was the first child care center to be star rated in Washington County.
To achieve this superior rating, Evergreen is evaluated by Beth McIntyre, a Step Up licensing specialist. McIntyre spends a full day at the center, evaluating enrollment, staff qualifications and training, teacher benefits programs, child screenings and assessments, as well as in-classroom synergy between children and teachers.
"All of the staff here worked really hard over the past year. They maintain wonderful interactions each day with the children, and are truly invested in what they do," adds Beardmore.
Since November 2009, the Evergreen Child Development Center has also achieved accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Nationally, approximately seven percent of early childhood programs have achieved this distinction. According to Beardmore, the Evergreen Child Development Center is the only accredited child care center in Washington County.
A Three-Star rating by the ODJFS additionally grants the center financial awards. Last year, the Evergreen Center was awarded $14,000 for their exemplary achievement.
The Evergreen Child Development Center serves students, employees and the community with quality child development services. The building includes four classrooms for infants through children five years of age, an event room for indoor play, fenced and lighted outdoor play areas, kitchen and staff offices. Up to 64 children can be accommodated at the Center. The 7,500 square foot building opened in 2003. For information about the Center's services, call 740.568.1920.