FBC ELC received our Virginia Quality Level 3 validation on May 7, 2020
In October 2017, our childcare center began at Level 1 in the Virginia Quality program. Working alongside Smart Beginnings of Martinsville-Henry County, we reached the milestone of Level 2 in January 2019. As of this month, we have now reached Level 3 in the program!
Each level of the program assesses different important aspects of a successful early childhood program: basic health & safety (Level 1), education and qualifications of teachers (Level 2), use of age-appropriate curriculum (Level 3), appropriateness of environment (Level 4), and interactions between teachers and students (Level 5). Each level builds on the last until the program is at its very best quality by Level 5. Check out this PDF from Virginia Quality to breakdown each Level and what it means for childcare programs. We begin our work on Level 4 immediately now that we have completed all of the steps for Level 3 validation. We are the first private early childhood program in M-HC to complete Level 3.
Our first Level 3 validation meeting was scheduled on February 23rd, and it was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. But, thanks to modern technology, we have continued to work to achieve this milestone. In April, Talitha Kirby, the Childcare Specialist at Smart Beginnings, contacted us to offer a virtual validation, which we accepted. FBC ELC had the first ever virtual validation in the State of Virginia on April 23rd! This validation could not have been possible without our Pre-K4 Teacher, Leigh Ann Keith, and our Infant Teacher, Ivy Beavers (pictured here). We also owe a great debt of gratitude to Ruth Anne Collins, Early Education & Family Resource Coordinator at Smart Beginnings (and FBC church member!), who has worked with us every step of the way. Next stop: Level 4!
When choosing a childcare center, you want to know the teachers and environment are at their very best quality. We participate and are working on our quality levels each year so that we can best serve our community with childcare and preschool instruction. Thanks for trusting us with the care and early childhood education of your children!
Want to know more about Smart Beginnings and Virginia Quality? Read on!
Who is Smart Beginnings and why do early childhood programs partner with them?
This statewide program is part of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation, and the Smart Beginnings programs are locally-driven to meet the needs of communities for childcare and preschool. Per the VECF website:
Smart Beginnings is a locally-driven enterprise that creates community commitment to school readiness by bringing public and private leaders together to collaborate on priorities for their youngest citizens. Local Smart Beginnings partners help communities deliver on ensuring conditions for a strong, healthy start for young children and their families.
A successful school readiness network requires the cooperation of parents and families, schools, child care providers, the faith community, higher education, business, and other community assets such as social services, libraries, and museums – and that’s exactly who is involved in Smart Beginnings efforts across the state. Smart Beginnings serves as the public-private connector in communities, harnessing all the parts of the network and driving its coordinated functioning. Local Smart Beginnings bring public and private leaders together to collaborate on priorities for their youngest citizens:
- Agree on a plan to coordinate effective early learning, health, and family support services for young children in their communities.
- Improve services by promoting high quality common standards and evidenced-based practices.
- Create efficiencies and leverage funding to ensure that the community’s resources are targeted to children with greatest need.
In Martinsville and Henry County, our Smart Beginnings program is committed to helping our programs thrive and work well so that our children are educated and cared for in their earliest years, which is a crucial time of development for children. Per our local Smart Beginnings:
The mission of Smart Beginnings Martinsville-Henry (SBMH) is to ensure that ALL children, birth to age 5, in Martinsville and Henry County will have caring, responsible adults who have access to resources to provide for their children’s social, emotional, physical and academic development.
Research shows that more that 85% of a child’s brain network is wired in the first five years of life. The greatest opportunity to be a self-sufficient individual is created within this small window of time.
Smart Beginnings Martinsville-Henry is a community coalition working with parents and caregivers to provide them with the resources and knowledge needed to make the most of this small window of time so that ALL children are ready for success when they enter school.