News & Events
Edina Family Center preschool program earns four-star Parent Aware rating
Top certification acknowledges quality curriculum and highly qualified staff
The District’s Edina Family Center preschool program for three to five year olds has earned the highest, 4-star rating from Parent Aware, a program that helps parents in Minnesota find quality childcare, preschool and early education providers. Ratings are granted on a scale of one to four stars, measuring best practices in early education that are focused on helping children succeed in kindergarten and beyond.
“Becoming Parent Aware certified reaffirms the mission of the Edina Family Center,” said Laurie Denn, Edina Family Center Coordinator. “Our licensed and caring staff implement a high quality curriculum designed to prepare kids for kindergarten in a play-based and parent-connected environment. ”
To earn the four-star rating, programs must use a curriculum that is aligned with the Minnesota Early Childhood Indicators of Progress (ECIP) and conduct assessments using an approved tool with all children at least twice a year. The assessments measure developmental progress in the areas of social, emotional and physical development, as well as cognitive abilities such as language acquisition, literacy skills, and mathematical thinking. The portfolio assessment system employed by the Edina Family Center provides valuable student data to early childhood teachers, provides baseline data for kindergarten teachers, and most importantly gives families ideas on areas to work on with their child at home.
In addition to the curriculum and assessments utilized, Edina’s program was also cited for its quality staff. All preschool teachers at the Edina Family Center must complete at least eight hours of training on the implementation of the curriculum and eight hours of training on authentic child assessment. This is in addition to all other state licensing requirements and early childhood certifications each teacher holds, requirements that extend beyond those set forth by Parent Aware.
Parent Aware began as a privately funded pilot project to address the fact that in Minnesota today, nearly half of all children arrive at kindergarten underprepared. The state of Minnesota has adopted the Parent Aware program and intends to make Parent Aware ratings available statewide by 2015.
According to Denn, the five month long accreditation process validates the quality program Edina has in place for preschoolers.
“We are proud to earn this prestigious designation for our preschool program, and we are continuing to strive to make our program even better,” Denn said. “We have now turned our sights to the national level, working feverishly to achieve accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a rigorous review process that exceeds the licensing standards set by the State of Minnesota.”