STAR-RATINGS TO HELP PARENTS CHOOSE QUALITY CHILD CARE


STAR-RATINGS TO HELP PARENTS CHOOSE QUALITY CHILD CARE


MIAMI, FL — January 19, 2011– The Children’s Trust launches a multilingual media campaign <http://www.thechildrenstrust.org/public-awareness-campaign>  around the release of star-ratings for child care centers in Miami-Dade County as part of its Quality Counts initiative, aimed at improving the quality of child care in Miami-Dade County.  A directory of participating child care centers and their stars is available at www.thechildrenstrust.org <http://www.thechildrenstrust.org>  or by calling The Children’s Trust Helpline at 211.

Quality Counts includes 445 participating centers and family child care homes, serving 28,500 children. As part of the initiative, more than 4,000 child care teachers have utilized scholarships towards training and certification in early childhood development. A study <http://www.thechildrenstrust.org/quality-counts-qris>  presents the initiative’s positive impact on Miami-Dade’s early childhood workforce.

Quality Counts is a voluntary quality rating improvement system that rates programs on a set of standards related to teacher qualifications, teacher/student ratios, curriculum, learning environment, parental involvement and program administration. Participating programs work hard to improve their programs, guided by information from a baseline assessment. A star rating of 1-5 is published after a center is rated for the second time to allow for making improvements with the help of provided incentives. More than three-fourths of participating programs rated for the second time have improved their quality.

ARC Project Thrive, a child care center for children with special needs in Florida City, last year earned four Quality Counts stars. “The educational incentives have been a big plus, and they’re reflected in the quality of the care our children receive,” said Executive Director Maria Barros. “Quality Counts has made us a better center.”

The multimedia campaign is designed to inform parents about what to look for in a quality child care center in order to make the most informed choice about the best care and education for their children.

“We know that the care and education a child receives from birth through age five lays the foundation for everything from good interpersonal skills to future success in school,” said Modesto E. Abety, president and CEO of The Children’s Trust. “Research shows that every $1 of investment in high quality early education saves us between $7-$13 later in the need for intervention and deeper-end services – the return on investment is significant.”

Quality Counts is designed and funded by The Children’s Trust in collaboration with   the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade Monroe, The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation/Ready Schools Miami and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, for a total annual investment of $9.7 million.


About The Children’s Trust
The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of funding created by voter referendum in 2002 to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County by making strategic investments in their future – because all children are our children.


About the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe
The Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring early education for children in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.  Through a variety of affordable and innovative early education and voluntary pre-kindergarten programs, the Coalition serves more than 30,000 children, ages birth to 12, along with their families.  For more information, please visit us at www.elcmdm.org.


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