Georgia is looking to make the search for a child care program a little easier. Monday marks the official launch of Quality Rated, Georgia's new voluntary system to assess, improve and communicate the level of quality in early care and education programs.
There are 84 child care programs in our area enrolled in the voluntary ratings system. None are quality rated, but Childcare Network CEO Scott Cotter says that's because most have just begun the process. Cotter says the new ratings system will help parents find the right daycare.
"We absolutely believe it will make parents' jobs easier, because ultimately, as a new parent they might not know what to look for in quality childcare and so having that rating system will give them that information," said Cotter.
Cotter says the process takes about 9 months to a year and is a very extensive process. If a center is deemed quality rated, it will receive a one, two or three star rating. Receiving any star ratings is considered good because it means the center has volunteered to join the program and strive for quality.
Programs choosing to participate in Quality Rated become eligible for financial incentive packages, free professional development and technical assistance. Programs that receive star-ratings draw bonuses in the state/federal reimbursements they receive from Georgia's Childcare and Parent Services Program, which provides subsidized child care for low income families.
The ratings are posted for public inspection at www.qualityrated.org and the DECAL web site www.decal.ga.gov. DECAL says nearly 1,300 child care programs are participating in Quality Rated, with approximately 200 programs rated now.
Georgia has launched a new daycare ratings program. Would you use such a system when choosing programs?
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