Local News

June 6, 2013

Whitfield-Dalton Day Care receives state recognition

The Whitfield County-Dalton Day Care Center recently received a top rating from the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, said Executive Director Debbie Rector.

The state will unveil its new rating program to the public on July 1, but Rector said the center has earned a three-star score.

“It’s a voluntary program, and anyone who goes through it should be commended no matter what their score because it’s a tremendous amount or work,” Rector said. “But it’s obviously very nice to have received the highest award. We are very proud of that.”

Rector said the center had to provide the state with information on the training and experience of staff members as well as professional development plans, information on child-staff ratios, curriculum and lesson plans, physical activities for children and nutrition plans.

“Then they came out and observed our classes. It was a two-day visit, and they have a checklist of everything they were looking for. They were very strict,” Rector said.

“I’m very proud of our staff. We worked very hard,” she said.

The center is also taking part in a state pilot program. The Rising Pre-K program is a summer program that started earlier this week for children from low-income families. It is targeted at youngsters who haven’t attended Head Start or pre-kindergarten.

“It’s a six-week program. I think there are only 10 facilities across the state taking part,” Rector said.

“We have 14 children in the program, and two teachers, so there’s an excellent ratio,” she said.

Program Director Julia Clayton said the program is geared toward children from homes where Spanish is the primary language.

“It is a print-rich program, so there will be a lot of literature, a lot of vocabulary-enriching activities. They will get bombarded with a lot of language,” said Clayton.

Children attend from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each weekday.

“Many of them really haven’t been away from their families that much, so in addition to helping with the language skills this really helps smooth the transition from home to pre-k,” Clayton said.

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