ATLANTA—– The Georgia Department of Early Learning (DECAL) has announced eight childcare centers awarded the state’s inaugural Quality Rated Language and Literacy Endorsements.
The list includes four local centers:Minnie Howell Child Development Center, Atlanta; Discovery Point #61, Conyers;Giselle Learning Academy, Clarkston; and The Learning Station, Ellenwood.
Others on the list include:
Kid’s World Learning Center, Statesboro; Rising Star Learning Center, Mableton; and Whitfield-Dalton Day Care Center, Dalton.
Gov. Brian P. Kemp and Georgia DECAL Commissioner Amy M. Jacobs applauded the centers for their commitment to providing high-quality, language-rich environments to Georgia’s youngest learners.
“It is exciting to recognize this first group of Quality Rated Language and Literacy Endorsement recipients,” said Gov. Kemp. “Providers serving infant-toddlers, preschoolers, and Georgia’s Pre-K students have a great opportunity and responsibility to help children build strong pre-reading skills during a critical stage of their development. I am confident as more early educators meet the criteria and benchmarks to receive this Endorsement, we will be able to give all of our young learners the strongest possible foundation for academic achievement and overall success in life.”
Kemp tasked DECAL with creating the Quality Rated Language and Literacy Endorsement to help improve student literacy and encourage and support childcare providers in emphasizing language skills among the state’s birth-to-age 5 population. The eight providers received the Endorsement after successfully completing a rigorous nine-month program of training and professional development; demonstrating a commitment to developing meaningful, intentional, and individualized literacy instruction that follows accepted standards; and creating an approved language and literacy instruction sustainability plan.
The eight centers receiving these first-ever Endorsements are among the state’s highest-performing childcare providers, having previously earned multiple-star ratings from Quality Rated. They were invited to participate in this inaugural Endorsement program because of their Quality Rated status, as well as their impressive records of care and service to a significant number of children, including those receiving Childcare and
In addition to the Endorsement, each participating provider received a Continuous Quality Improvement Sustainability Bonus Payment, a technology grant to support the completion of the virtual, online training courses, and a variety of classroom materials to be used in future language and literacy instruction. The teachers and directors at each center also received stipend payments of varying amounts. Funding for the Endorsement program was provided by the Sandra Dunagan Deal Center for Early Language and Literacy and the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five.