Council Initiative Improves Quality within 194 Child Care Settings in Westchester
A quality child care program ensures the health and safety of children, supports the building of positive relationships, and provides rich opportunities for learning. While many of Westchester's 760 regulated providers are working very hard and care about children, some do not realize how they are falling short.
So, the Child Care Council of Westchester stepped in, and over the course of 5 years, implemented and tracked 15 quality improvement projects with 194 child care center classrooms and family providers in Westchester County, delivering intensive technical assistance, modeling, coaching, training, and resources specific to the needs of each.
The Council utilized the Environmental Rating Scales (ERS) developed by the early childhood experts at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Only 23% of the initial program quality assessment scores were in the good to excellent quality range and 39% were "minimal quality" or worse. After a Council quality improvement specialist worked with the staff at each program over a period of months, the program quality assessment was re-administered, with dramatic results!
97%of participating programs/providers improved their quality scores
80%of the scores were in the good to excellent range
34%of the scores were in the very good to excellent range
Our quality improvement work continues on a regular basis through our extensive services to professional child care providers. Learn more about our services for Child Care Professionals.
The Science: Children are Born Learning
Quality early care and education makes such a tremendous impact on a child's life because, between birth and age five, the brain is extremely responsive to experience.
The messages a child gets during interactions with the environment and those around him/her create synapses ("connections") between neurons ("brain cells"), thus creating the structure of the brain. Synapses that are strengthened through repetition become permanent. The synapses that are not "excited" are pruned away. For example, a child who is rarely spoken to or read to in the early years may have trouble mastering language skills later on.
The Child Care Council of Westchester wants every child in Westchester to develop to his or her full potential by facilitating access to high quality care and education while parents are working.
In good child care situations, children are exposed to warm, loving interactions with caregivers, and talk, sing, read, play and explore objects and physical space – which are the best ways to stimulate brain development and promote the cognitive, language, motor and social-emotional skills that will prepare them for success in school, career and life.
Children are born learning and with the potential to be bright, healthy and successful, and to contribute to their communities. Support the Child Care Council and help us make that a reality.
Did you know that children are born ready to learn, and brain development starts right away? The fact is, interactions and experiences that occur in the earliest years impact every aspect of our children's future, and the roles they will play in their communities.
Quality early care and education means:
Lifelong Better Health
- More physically active
- Improved nutritional habits
- Prevention of costly chronic diseases
- Lower incidence of underage drinking, criminal activity and teen pregnancy
Healthy Emotional Development
- Better emotional control
- More social skills and positive peer interaction
- Fewer disruptive behaviors
Academic and Career Success
Increased likelihood of reading on grade level, graduating high school, attending and/or graduating college, and achieving gainful employment
Asks donors to give on December 2 and share their support via social media
SCARSDALE, NY (October 21, 2014) – The Child Care Council of Westchester - a nonprofit resource organization that works to ensure every child in Westchester has access to quality early care and education – will once again participate in #GivingTuesday, a national movement designed to inspire people to support their local communities and create a better future. Taking place on December 2, 2014 to coincide with Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday is a day of charitable giving, similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become synonymous with shopping. The Child Care Council’s Board of Directors announced at its September meeting that it will match all #GivingTuesday contributions, up to $2,500.
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