4C for Children Quality Programs Specialist Debra Chin has coached the staff at Youthland Academy in Milford for over 12 years as the staff has worked to increase the quality of the care they provide for children. As a result of this collaboration, Youthland earned it’s initial one-star Step Up To Quality rating several years ago and in July 2021, the program celebrated earning a four-star rating.
4C for Children coaches walk alongside child care programs on the journey through the SUTQ system. A coaching visit (whether remote via video call or in-person at the program) might include assistance with paperwork to register for each star rating, sharing ideas for best practice when working with children, recommending professional development opportunities that meet a program’s individual needs, or just being a listening ear for administrators and staff when they need to talk about the challenges of their work.
Owner Sheila Stebbins and program director Sandi Fisher shared how Youthland’s newly acquired rating and their work with 4C for Children has impacted staff and the children and families the program serves each day. “Participating in Step Up To Quality taught us about quality care, best practice, curriculum and child assessment. We then put what we learned into practice. We are able to communicate in a much more relevant and family-friendly manner with families as we celebrate each child’s growth. Through dialogue with families, we realized that intentional teaching is a true partnership with families and it is as a crucial component in terms of providing the best learning experiences to young children.”
The program also received coaching support along the way from 4C for Children Quality Programs Specialist Ruby Kalyani. “Both Debra and Ruby have been tremendously encouraging to our staff so we could go the extra mile for the best interests of the children and families,” Shelia and Sandi said. “They constantly pumped us up by telling us that ‘We could do it.’
“We could have never done this without Debra, Ruby and 4C for Children. Our staff now feel so proud of what they do every day with children and families.”
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