As a way of introducing a new pilot program, the Early Childhood Academy at Meridian Community College hosted local childcare center personnel, sharing with them what it takes to become a Comprehensive Center.
The program is offered through the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) and funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its goal is to broaden the scope of early childhood development and to prepare preschoolers to enter the public school system.
In order for childcare centers to become a Comprehensive Center, they have to demonstrate that they meet established criteria in 10 areas: continuous quality improvement, professional development, curriculum and standards, assessments, kindergarten transition plan, family engagement practices, community partnerships, business practices, information technology and program evaluation.
The Early Childhood Academy collaborates with participating community and junior colleges, the Mississippi Department of Human Services, and childcare providers to ensure that Mississippi’s family-based unified and integrated early childhood system connects and integrates resources and services for both parents/caregivers and their children.
The Office is also responsible for establishing an Early Childhood Academy with a Resource and Referral Center at participating community colleges to deliver professional development for all centers, delivering and managing technical assistance and coaching and providing leadership to the resource and referral offices.
Photo: Participating at the first session are, from left, Gary Houston of Excellence Child Development Center; Cassandra Amerson of First Step Learning Center; Tajsa Dunn of New Destiny Day Care and Learning Academy; Lenora Pruitt of Creative Kids Daycare; Sonia Johnson of Excellence Child Development Center; and Idrick Leggett of KinderCare Learning Center.