In November 2018, Small Wonders Canfield became the first center at Small Wonders to receive a 5-star rating through Ohio’s Step Up To Quality, the highest rating attainable from ODJFS.
What does a 5-star rating mean? It’s the highest and best rating available from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. It’s also the rarest achieved in the state among privately-owned centers. The number of childcare centers and preschools that have a rating at all in Ohio is only 28% but the program will become required of all centers starting in 2020.
A 5-Star rating is achieved by accumulating levels of points set forth by the program for following their specific parameters on the utmost in quality education, development, and care. A 5-star rating at a privately-owned center is great for parents and families because it means the centers reach these higher standard parameters set forth by Step Up To Quality:
• Each staff member has at least an associate’s degree and receives continuing education and professional development every two years.
• Each child enrolled received an entrance screening, yearly screenings, and individualized education plans.
• Each center has low staff/child rations meaning more attention for each child. Teachers create written plans for activities and curriculum that meet every child developmental need.
• Each staff member has a professional development plan and has formal observations twice annually to make sure quality is met and maintained; additionally, is each center itself completes an annual self-assessment to make sure quality met, developmentally appropriate and well-maintained.
• Each center makes children, parents and families the highest priority and goes above and beyond to schedule meetings with families, send and give important notifications, and keep parents updated on their child’s educational and developmental progress.
• Each center engages the community and involves the children in community outreach.
Until its 2018 inspection, Small Wonders Canfield held no rating since opening in 2017. Small Wonders has 4 additional locations serving Mahoning and Columbiana counties. Greenford, Leetonia, and Columbiana all currently hold a 4-star rating. Small Wonders Salem opened at the beginning of 2018 and will be looking to receive their rating in 2019, as well as move to a new building. Leetonia is in the hunt for 5 stars in the next couple of months.
More information on Step Up To Quality can be found on our website at SmallWondersLearningCenter.org, including the program requirements.
Congratulations to Small Wonders Canfield on a job well done!