“Quality Rated” is a system that almost 1,300 day cares statewide have voluntarily signed up for at allgakids.org through Bright from the Start.
So far, 69 centers in Cobb have signed up, 16 have received ratings and nine are awaiting a score.
Centers are rated as follows:
• One star: the program has demonstrated a commitment to meeting standards that exceed state health and safety requirements, meets several quality thresholds and scores sufficiently on the independent observation.
• Two stars: the program has demonstrated a commitment to meeting standards that exceed state health and safety requirements, meets many quality thresholds and scores well on the independent observation.
• Three stars: the program has demonstrated a commitment to meeting standards that exceed state health and safety requirements, meets numerous quality thresholds and scores high on the independent observation.
The owners of Discovery Point Child Development Center off of Mary Eliza Trace in west Cobb opted to participate in the rating program.
“It’s a program to make good centers better,” said day-care owner Jennifer Bailey. “It also provided the opportunity for great training and resources for our teachers.”
Discovery Point received a one-star rating after enrolling in the program last September.
Like other day cares, Discovery Point was rated during orientation and training sessions, as well as an on-site visit where program evaluation and development specialists from the state came in and observed classes for a day.
“I think our parents and future parents will be able to see the benefits from the material in the classroom to the training our teachers will receive,” Bailey said.
Schools choosing to participate are eligible for free professional development, technical assistance and financial incentive packages supported by foundations and businesses.
Bailey opened the center with co-owner Angela Cohran in 2007. They serve about 170 children, from infants to 12-year-olds.
Open Arms Christian Child Development Center, located off Stilesboro Road in Kennesaw, received a three-star rating.
“We are just tickled pink with our rating,” said Program Director Laurie Keach. “The teachers worked really hard so there was a lot of effort put into this enrollment.”
The school, which opened in 1996, serves about 150 children 6 weeks old to 11 years old.
Keach said they voluntarily enrolled in the program because anything they can do to increase their school quality and allow that to be recognized by a state entity can only be viewed as favorable.
Reg Griffin, a spokesman with the state, said the star rating is a three-year rating with annual updates of the portfolio, which confirms teacher credentials, updates professional development plans, updates nutrition/physical activity practices, updates ratios and updates curriculum.
Griffin said the only way to increase a star rating is to have an on-site assessment.
“However, if the structural quality diminishes in the year, the star rating can decrease,” he said. “If during the three years of star rating the program falls out of compliance with Child Care Services, pre-K, Child and Adult Care Food Program or Child and Parent Services, the star rating is removed.”