Child care programs awarded top state ratings

June 20, 2013

The Level 5 staff at the Perkinston Campus Early Childhood Education center includes, from left, Abbi Arrington, Kelly Burke, Sarah Nix, Jane Brown and Irvette Dove.

The Early Childhood Education Technology program’s child care facilities at the Jackson County, Jefferson Davis and Perkinston campuses have 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 Jackson County Campus center received its Level 5 rating in May 2012, while the Perkinston Campus center received it in January 2013. The center on the Jefferson Davis Campus received the Level 5 rating in October 2012.  The individuals who conducted the onsite visits based the Level 5 ratings on their observations when touring the child care centers, review of program documentations, parent involvement and teacher portfolios.

“It is a difficult process to work through and takes dedication on the part of the center’s staff and the college students in the program,” says Sarah Nix, center director at the Perkinston Campus. “The MGCCC administration has helped us tremendously, making sure we had the resources on all three campuses to make this happen.  We are all thrilled to have finally accomplished this goal and that we can now tell our parents and Early Childhood Education Technology majors that these centers and the training programs are among the very best in the state.”

The Perkinston Campus center is also certified by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

The MGCCC child care facilities are among the few Level 5 centers in Mississippi. That they are also teaching facilities makes achieving the highest rating level even more important.

Pamela Jones, center director at the Jefferson Davis Campus, says that receiving the Level 5 rating is a win-win because not only do the Early Childhood Education Technology majors learn in a top-rated facility, but also 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,” she says. “Plus, our Early Childhood Education Technology majors are able to work in a top-notch facility and learn from teachers who  are qualified at that top level.  They will leave here knowing what it takes to run a Level 5 center.”

Upon successful completion of the two-year Early Childhood Education Technology program, students are awarded an associate degree.  The program is offered at all three college campuses.

Lisa Hudgins, center director at the Jackson County Campus, says parent involvement is key in maintaining the top-level rating. Weekly letters from teachers and a monthly center newsletter assure parents know what their children are learning.  She says, “Parents are kept involved in their children’s learning in a variety of ways.  All parents are expected to participate.  In return, our parents 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 and the teaching of skills that promote self discipline.”

Parents must apply for the program through the college, and their children are then placed on a waiting list.

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.

Lisa Hudgins, center director at the Jackson County Campus, stands in front of the Early Childhood Education Center on the Gautier campus. The center on the Jackson County Campus received its certification in May 2013.

Comments are closed.