Child care rating system marks top centers
by Michelle Babcock
July 04, 2013 12:00 AM | 2135 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A new voluntary child care rating system, designed to help parents choose quality early education programs, went public Monday and four of Cherokee’s 80-plus licensed child care providers have been rated so far.

Bobby Cagle, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, the state agency that oversees child care centers, announced the launch of the new assessment, improvement and communication system called Quality Rated on Monday.

“Quality Rated is our new community-powered early education rating system that identifies which early childhood education programs have a commitment to quality,” Cagle said.

The new system is a voluntary enrollment program and uses one, two and three stars to indicate programs that exceed the state’s minimum licensing requirements. DECAL said more than 1,200 child care programs have already enrolled, and about 200 have been rated so far.

The Quality Rated assessment system is based on a rigorous application process and even a one-star rating indicates the child care provider is high quality and exceeds the minimum state requirements, according to the website.

Discovery Point on Prominence Point Parkway in Canton got a one-star rating; Discovery Point on Towne Lake nus, Parkway in Woodstock got two stars; The Sunshine House on Highway 92 in Woodstock got two stars; The Sunshine House on Eagle Drive in Woodstock got two stars.

“We want parents to be aware of Quality Rated and use this information in selecting quality early education for their children,” Cagle said. “If they already have a child care program, we hope they ask them if they are Quality Rated — and if not, why not?”

Programs that choose to participate in the voluntary assessment system are eligible for state and federal reimbursements from Georgia’s Childcare and Parent Services, which subsidizes child care for low income families.

The bonuses are tiered, based on the star-rating achieved by the child care provider. Receiving one star equals a 2 percent bonus, two stars equals a 5 percent bonus and three stars equals a 10 percent bonus.

Billboards, print, radio, TV and online advertising will be used to promote Quality Rated around the state, according to a news release.

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