Learn why the Children's Center at Countryside YMCA was awarded the top rating for quality child care by the Ohio Department of Job and Family services and the Ohio Department of Education’s Step Up to Quality (SUTQ) rating program.
The Children’s Center staff at Countryside YMCA celebrate the announcement of their five star rating by the Ohio Department of Job and Family services and the Ohio Department of Education’s Step Up to Quality (SUTQ) rating program.
Lebanon, OH – The Children’s Center at Countryside YMCA in Lebanon, Ohio has been awarded the top recognition of five stars by the Ohio Department of Job and Family services and the Ohio Department of Education’s Step Up to Quality (SUTQ) rating program. Step Up to Quality programs go beyond state licensing requirements to better serve the needs of young children and their families and to prepare them for success in kindergarten and beyond.
“When we a hire a new staff member, they are required to obtain their Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ within the first year,” said Nikki Stokes, The Children’s Center Director. “In order to earn the five star rating, our staff was very committed and put in a lot of extra effort to obtain their CDA, and in many cases, attend coursework toward an associate’s degree.”
The Children's Center is a safe, nurturing environment for children to learn and grow and is designed to meet the needs of families with children from infancy through pre-K. According to Stokes, one thing that sets The Children’s Center apart from other childcare centers is that “We have several staff that have been with us for over 20 years. That is almost unheard of in childcare. About 1/3 of our staff has been here over 5 years which is amazing.”
Preschool children enrolled here have several unique opportunities. First, all preschoolers are given free swim lessons. “Ohio ranks as one of the top 10 states for unintentional death due to drowning; Countryside YMCA is striving to change that. Donations to our Annual Campaign allow us to provide swim lessons to our preschoolers as part of our curriculum. That’s not something parents are going to get someplace else,” said Countryside YMCA CEO Chris Johnson. Besides swim, children have the opportunity to attend age-appropriate extracurricular classes such as ballet, gymnastics, soccer, and Spanish during the day.
“Our vision is for all Countryside YMCA childcare programs to be the leaders in building children of character,” said Stokes. Through the use of "The Creative Curriculum™" the Y’s program encompasses the YMCA core values of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility, and faith.
With 90 percent of brain development occurring before age 5, early child care and education is crucial to a child’s future success. Early learning builds the foundation for skills needed in school, work and life. Studies show that children who receive quality early child care and education are more likely to show improved reading and math skills, attend college and earn higher wages.