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The Salvation Army’s childcare program in St. Paul makes it official: Affordable care does not mean low quality.
The Salvation Army King Family Child Development Center recently was certified by the nation’s top accreditation nonprofit for early childhood education – the National Association for the Education of Young Children(NAEYC). The association just wrapped up 18 months of testing and observing the program’s educational quality.
“Not only did we become accredited, but the scores we received were incredible – we earned 100 out of 100 in many categories,” said program director Brenda Line. “Our staff is proud of this achievement. But the real winners are the kids and their parents.”
Line and her six staff members are no babysitters. They teach 28 toddlers and preschoolers using literacy-based curriculum that’s research-tested and of the highest quality.
“Each teacher meets with me monthly and works on a goal they can achieve with each child, the classroom environment and for their own professional growth,” Line said. “In the end, every one of our ‘graduates’ is adequately prepared for kindergarten.”
The staff is also committed to the children’s parents.
“We have fellowship time outside of center hours in order to make greater connections with the parents,” Line said. “We’ve had breakfasts, pot lucks and have made gingerbread houses.”
The accreditation process was funded by the Greater Twin Cities United Way and the Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children.
“We are grateful for these organizations’ support – we couldn’t have done it without their assistance,” Line said.
Accreditation is a third-party endorsement of a program’s ability to meet researched-based quality standards. The NAEYC, created in the 1920s, sets professional standards for early childhood education and helps families identify high-quality programs.
The Salvation Army King Family Child Development Center, 401 W. 7th St., opened in 1995 with a mission to give low-income families access to quality childcare. Several openings are available. To learn more, call 651-602-3018.