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Family Childcare Program Working with Accelerate Quality

United Way supports dozens of programs to support education throughout Southern Arizona. Here is a story from our Accelerate Quality program, which works with eligible early care and education programs – preschools, childcare centers, and family childcare homes – in Pima County to increase the number of available spaces for preschool-aged children in high quality early care and education programs.

About six months ago Accelerate Quality began working with a Family Childcare provider who is completely new to the field of early care and education. She had recently graduated with a medical certificate and found her first related job. However, she struggled to find quality child care for her two children that are under the age of 4. Soon, she decided to open her own child care program and worked with DES become certified. DES was able to inform this provider about Quality First and Accelerate Quality. We began working with her in late September, to offer her support in preparing for her work with Quality First and educating her about what quality looks like. She read everything we gave her and worked hard on both her environment and her interactions with the children in her care. She rearranged the furniture and materials she had in her home already, and we provided funding for her to supplement the furnishings. She also began working with Make Way for Books, for literacy education and Smart Support to enhance the social/emotional climate in her program.

Today she received notification that she is now a 4-star rated Quality First program, which means her families of preschool-aged children can access the Pima County PEEPS tuition scholarships, and the reimbursements for tuition for her clients that are awarded a DES subsidy will be at least 35% higher since she offers them a quality program. She worked hard for that star-rating level! Below are pictures of the environment before and after our work together.

The table and chairs were moved into the living room space; the console behind it holds materials for play. Mealtimes are more relaxed because the space is not competing with the play space from where it was moved.

Before Picture

The program has a sturdy table that seats everyone. However, it took up a large part of the play area and we suggested another spot be found for it.

After Picture

The space is now open so that children can use both the space and their imagination to play or look at books.

Before Picture

This part of the room left little space for play. It was the table, again, taking up the room.

After Picture

With the table moved, there is room to build with blocks and a new warm rug helps define the space.