Quality Child Care Campaign
The Quality Child Care Campaign (QCCC) of Rockland County began in 1999. With support from the Rockland County Legislature and the County Executive, programs have received equipment and technical assistance to improve the quality of their program. Many programs are now accredited and have entered into the ranks of those programs that demonstrated they have attained a certain level of quality. Programs from the three modalities (child care centers, home-based child care and after school programs) can participate in the process of accreditation. To find out more about programs that are accredited in your area click on the various websites listed below.
What the QCCC does...
At the beginning of each year, Child Care Resources of Rockland looks for a few good programs to participate in the Quality Child Care Campaign of Rockland County. This campaign takes individual family child care providers and center directors through the steps to achieve national accreditation. This campaign provides a number of items to facilitate the process: 1) it provides technical assistance to address those areas that need improvement through a specialist at CCRR, 2) it pays for the fees to apply for accreditation, and 3) it supplies financial support to programs through a series of mini-grants in order to meet accreditation requirements.
Brief history of QCCC...
The process of accreditation started in the mid-eighties when there was an upsurge of children participating in child care programs outside the home. There was a need to establish a way to evaluate the quality of these programs, both for the parents searching for child care and the educators wishing to provide the best service to children. In 1985, The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) established the National Academy of Early Childhood to develop a set of standards for this purpose. The result was creation of a developmentally appropriate set of criteria for quality child care.
In April 1986, the Academy had accredited 19 programs. Today there are more than 10,000 accredited programs serving over 1 million children. Accreditation was expanded to include Family Child Care (www.nafcc.org) in 1988, and then School-Age Care (www.naaweb.org) in 1996 through separate organizations. But the purpose is the same: to identify quality child care using a nationally recognized set of standards.
Accreditation is more than just another certificate hung in the hallway as a result of completing certain required tasks. It is a process that enables one to reflect on their teaching in order to improve it. All three types of accreditation, center-based, family child care and school age care, start with the self-study, in which an individual evaluates their own program against a set of standards. This process has many outcomes: it stimulates a dialogue about teaching practices, helps to clarify expectations, renews commitment to education, builds pride in the program, and helps to establish a direction of improvement for teaching. All of these outcomes contribute to the quality of a child care program. These changes can last long beyond the first day the certificate of accreditation arrives.
Our county is fortunate to have the financial backing of local government to facilitate the process of accreditation and support quality education for young children. This funding offers a golden opportunity to obtain help and encouragement to achieve accreditation.
Employers can better rely on employees who have children in quality child care. As an employer you may want to invest in the child care industry to enable all employees to know that their children are in secure, healthy, reliable child care.