Research shows high-quality early childhood education provides a wide array of significant benefits to children, families, and communities. It is an essential investment because it creates a foundation for success in school and in life at a critical time in a child’s development.
In 2013, Monroe Smart Start began its first Cohort of Quality Providers to expand high-quality early childhood opportunities in Monroe County. Early childhood sites actively seeking to progress in Paths to QUALITY™ are invited to participate each year. Providers receive funding and professional development that improves the education and, ultimately, the school readiness of the children in their care.
Monroe Smart Start in partnership with Chances and Service for Youth (CASY), Paths to QUALITY™, and Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children (INAEYC) provides collaborative opportunities, facilitates mentoring, and offers educational materials needed for level advancement in Paths to QUALITY™. The cohort model allows early childhood educators to benefit by moving through the process together with other programs in our community.
Since the inception of the Quality Cohorts model, 35 local, licensed early childhood sites have participated in Monroe Smart Start’s Quality Cohorts. Seventy-four percent of Quality Cohort participant sites have increased one or more levels in Paths to QUALITY™, affording over 1,000 children higher quality care. Four family child care providers from the Quality Cohort are also now accredited by the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC) and have achieved Level 4 in Paths to QUALITY™. View participating Monroe County Paths to QUALITY™ providers by level.
Interested in becoming a participant in a future Quality Cohort? Contact Monroe Smart Start Director Jennifer Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s BLOOM Together!
To help early childhood providers sustain high-quality care, Monroe Smart Start has created three learning communities:
Monroe Smart Start coordinates professional development for these groups and maintains social communities to facilitate collaborations among child care providers and facility directors. Members of the BLOOMing early learning communities share knowledge, experiences, and expertise to support each other in sustaining quality care for Monroe County children. Nearly 150 early learning professionals participate in Monroe Smart Start’s BLOOMing early learning communities. Interested in getting involved in our BLOOMing communities? Contact us for details.