My name is Denise Menshouse and I am the executive director at Growing Together Preschool. We are a private, non-profit childcare agency striving to provide quality care for children and their families from birth to five, with and without disabilities. We are a 5 STAR and NAEYC accredited center and learned about the Family Friendly Early Care and Education certification through the Kentucky Collaborative for Families and Schools.
At Growing Together Preschool, we are always working towards best practice and making improvements in our programming. We felt like this was a great opportunity to guide our discussions and practices so that we can truly take a holistic approach in being a part of the collaboration with families.
When we began working towards our Family Friendly credential, we created a group that consisted of one of our board of directors, our parent booster organization president and members of our school-based decision making committee which includes two teachers, two parents and two administrators, including me. We reviewed the survey and completed it individually. We met as a group and compared the results to the family and staff surveys we had completed in our most recent annual survey. We then dedicated time to viewing the needed modules online, gathering certificates of completion and discussed areas of strength and weakness. We met as a group to generate ideas on how to work through the process, gathered evidence of our practices and created the application document to highlight all of the wonderful things already happening at the preschool.
The certification process was easy to navigate under the guidance of the Prichard Committee.
We did not need to change anything we were already doing to meet the requirements of the certification because we wanted to use the information and the evidence we collected to serve as a baseline to target areas of growth. This has become a roadmap on how to guide our next steps and gives us ideas on what to add to our next round of family and staff surveys.
We will continue to make improvements in our programming from policies and procedures to customer service and most importantly into investing in our partnerships with families.
Denise Menshouse is the executive director of Growing Together Preschool.