Child care program at MGCCC’s Jefferson Davis Campus tapped for top award

October 31, 2012

The Level 5 staff at the center includes (back row, from left) Sharon Carter, Dawn Huey, Pamela Jones, Rebecca Barron and Carmen Johnson, and (front row, from left) Mandi McDonnell and Stephanie McMahon.

The Early Childhood Education Technology program’s child care facility at the Jefferson Davis Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College has achieved a Level 5 rating from the Mississippi Child Care Quality Step System.  A Level 5 rating is the highest a program can achieve in the Quality Step System, which is monitored by the Mississippi Department of Human Services, the Office of Children and Youth, and the Mississippi State University Early Childhood Institute.

The individuals who conducted the onsite visit based the Level 5 rating on their observations and on many other things, including touring the child care center and reviewing program documentations and teacher portfolios..  “This has been two years of hard work for all of us,” said Pamela Jones, center director. “The teachers and the Early Childhood Education Technology students have devoted much time and effort to get us here.”

The child care facility is the only Level 5 center in South Mississippi. That it is also a teaching facility makes achieving the highest rating level even more important, Jones said. “That’s the great thing about our receiving this rating. Our students learn what it takes to administer and maintain a Level 5 childcare site, so they can open comparable facilities,” Jones said. She added, “Education should always be about learning the best methods, and this shows that we are offering that kind of academic excellence here.”

Upon successful completion of the two-year Early Childhood Education program, students are awarded an associate degree.  The program is also offered at the college’s Jackson County Campus in Gautier and the Perkinston Campus in Perkinston.

Jones added that receiving the Level 5 rating is a win-win because not only do the Early Childhood Education students learn in a top-rated facility, but the children of full-time college students who attend the center receive a top-notch education. “Only children of MGCCC students are accepted into our program, and those children are getting the best preparation for school.  Our parents, according to the standards of the Quality Step Program, can expect their children to have age-appropriate learning environments, educated teaching staff skilled in age-specific teaching methods, increased health and safety standards, school readiness through the implementation of the Mississippi Early Learning Guidelines, increased family involvement and better communication with parents regarding the development of the child, and the teaching of skills that promote self discipline.”

Pamela Jones, Early Childhood Education Technology instructor and center director at the Early Childhood Education Center at the Jefferson Davis Campus holds the center’s Level 5 certificate. The Level 5 rating is a part of the Mississippi Child Care Quality Step System and is the highest rating a facility can receive.

Comments are closed.