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|Claiborne Christian preschool receives impressive rating|
Claiborne Christian Preschool in West Monroe was awarded a three-star rating in quality care by the Louisiana Quality Start Rating Program.
One to five stars are awarded to a child care center based on classroom assessments using the infant, toddler environmental rating scales, the early childhood environmental rating scales and the educational levels of teachers.
Teachers must have their child development associate certificate or an associates in early child care for a center to receive a three to five star rating.
A five-star rating is the highest star a center can achieve.
Claiborne Christian Preschool director Marianna Bell said getting teachers and employees trained to meet these new guidelines takes the longest amount of time. She said Claiborne Christian's teachers and employees worked for roughly three years attending classes at Delta Community College and the University of Louisiana-Monroe to meet the program's certification.
Claiborne Christian was awarded the three-star rating in June.
"It took us three years to get to this point, and we plan on working on that fourth star now," Bell said. "A lot of centers here are on their first or second star, and for a center our size to accomplish a three-star rating is just huge."
"We can proudly say we are the first and only center in the West Monroe area to have a three-star status," she said.
Claiborne Christian has classes for infants to pre-K 4-year-olds. The center has about 150 children and 33 employees.
"We believe in quality care and work hard to provide that, but it's an ongoing process to reach that next level," Bell said.
Claiborne Christian plans to reapply in six months for a four-star rating, Bell said. Once a center achieves a three-star rating, it must continue to meet requirements to maintain the status, Bell said.
"What this means for parents is peace of mind knowing their child is attending a quality program," Bell said. "It also means an additional tax savings for parents at the end of the year."
The rating system was developed by the Department of Social Services Quality Improvement Unit to provide a rating for quality care in centers across the state.
During the rating process, a child care quality specialist visits a center unannounced and observes classroom activity for a number of days. The center is assessed how well its program is meeting children's needs to see whether children receive the protection, learning opportunities and positive relationships they need for successful development.
The Quality Start Rating Program is implemented locally by the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education Quality Improvement Unit, the Northeast Louisiana Childcare Coalition and Louisiana Pathways.