Accreditation teams from the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida have awarded five-star ratings to all six learning centers operated by Child Care of Southwest Florida.
The Early Learning Coalition’s “Southwest Florida Stars” program evaluates local child care centers in three quality areas: learning environment and classroom interactions; screening, assessment and curriculum; and professional development and staff qualifications. Additional points are awarded for maintaining specific student-to-teacher ratios and class sizes, as well as achieving outside accreditation.
This is the first time all six of the agency’s centers have earned the Coalition’s highest classification in the same year.
“The evaluation process is very rigorous and time consuming, but we welcome feedback from the Coalition’s accreditation team to help improve our curriculum and operations,” said Chris Hansen, CEO of Child Care of Southwest Florida. “Having all six centers earn five-star ratings is an incredible accomplishment, and that achievement certainly indicates the level of education and care that parents can expect when they enroll their children in one of our centers.”
“Southwest Florida Stars” is a voluntary quality assessment for child care program.
Child Care of Southwest Florida operates centers in Lee and Hendry counties, including The Children’s Learning Center at FSW (Fort Myers), Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center (Fort Myers), P.A. Geraci Child Development Center (Fort Myers), The Community Children’s Center (Lehigh Acres), Children’s Garden of LaBelle (LaBelle) and Harlem Academy Child Care Center (Clewiston).
“We take great pride in offering a safe, high-quality educational environment, and that’s why our children are so well-prepared academically, socially and emotionally by the time they enter kindergarten,” said Angela Anderson, education program manager for Child Care of Southwest Florida. “Earning the five-star rating means we’re helping to set the industry standard as a provider of high-quality early childhood education.”
In addition to the “Southwest Florida Stars” rating, all Child Care of Southwest Florida centers are accredited through the National Accreditation Commission for Early Learning Leaders and recognized as Gold Seal Quality Care Programs through the Florida Department of Children and Families. Two locations, the Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center and The Community Children’s Center, recently were recognized by the School Board as “Preferred Pre-K Providers” in Lee County.