These are some of the means by which we follow "best practices" and measure quality.
We participate in a voluntary evaluation process designed to assist early care and education facilities in documenting and demonstrating the level of quality within our programs. National Accreditation Commission (NAC) is a national accreditation that promotes professionalism and program quality by measuring competency in such areas as Administration, Curriculum, Interaction, Parent Communication and Health and Safety. We are Nationally Accredited at our two oldest facilities and in process in our two newer campus sites.
Quality Rating Scale (QRS)
QRS is another voluntary system used to measure specific quality indicators designed and implemented by early care and education facilities. This process is available to providers committed to providing higher quality care. Skip-a-Long has received a 3-Star rating, with 4-Star being the highest level in Illinois and 5-Star in Iowa. We continuously work to improve our QRS ratings. For more information see IA QRS or IL QRS
Creative Curriculum® is a research based curriculum designed to assist programs serving infants through preschool aged children. This curriculum helps programs plan appropriate learning experiences that promote and support children's learning and progress. We believe that children learn through play.
Early Learning Standards
Our staff are trained in the early learning standards in order to best prepare children to succeed in school. For more information see Iowa Early Learning Standards or Illinois Early Learning Standards.
Focused Portfolios™ are used to document the growth and development of children from birth to two. This information documented is used to share with the families the growth and development of each child. It is also used as a guide to help the teachers plan activities that will enhance the growth and development of individual children. To learn more about how and why portfolio-based assessment works, take a look at this article from www.earlychildhood.com!
Work Sampling is a performance based assessment system used to assess and document children's skills, knowledge, behavior, and accomplishments using educational domains. This assessment tool was designed for children 3-5 years of age.
Parent Focus Groups
Skip-a-Long places a lot of value on the ideas, thoughts, feelings and suggestions of our parents. Therefore, we provide many different avenues for parents to provide us with feedback. One of the venues used to collect and document parent feedback, is through our semi-annual focus groups for parents. Each campus holds a night where parents come together with a facilitator and they discuss different components of our agency. They provide us with feedback on the things we do well and the areas where needed improvements are necessary.
United Way 40 Developmental Assets
Skip-a-Long participated in the Search Institute "train the trainer" two-day intensive program, sponsored by United Way, designed to enable us to provide Search Institute Essentials of Asset Building" workshops Everyone's an Asset Builder and Sharing the Asset Message.
Search Institute has identified 40 positive experiences and qualities that all of us have the power to bring into the lives of children and youth, which are called developmental assets. for many people, the assets have become a source of ideas and inspiration.
Skip-a-Long offers a monthly Developmental Asset activity that is incorporated into our lesson plans and parent activities. Staff at each campus site plan meaningful and fun ways to nurture the 40 developmental assets in our children!
If you would like a presentation on the 40 Developmental Assets, contact our friends at United Way.
Professional and Dedicated Staff
The personnel at Skip-a-Long are one of the more important components to Quality care that we offer. Continuity of caregiver is so crucial to young children--we are proud that our turnover rate is well below the national and statewide percentages.
We ensure that our staff are well trained, starting during their introductory period with us and then on an on-going basis. All staff, be they classroom or support staff, receive training on a regular basis.
We find that our employees choose Skip-a-Long because of our mission and remain with us because they believe in the importance of our work with young children.
Each of our Site Directors, including our Chief Operating Officer and our Chief Executive Officer started out first as a classroom teacher.
Our support staff (front office, kitchen) also take a special interest in our children and families.
For all of us, it is not "just a job." It is a privilege to work with Skip-a-Long and to serve this community.