The Childrens Center at Mulberry Street United Methodist Church has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, one of the nations leading organizations of early childhood professionals.
It is the only child care center in both Bibb and Jones counties to receive accreditation from that association, according to a statement from the center.
The national association accredits early childhood programs according to health, safety and education standards it first launched in 1985 and revised in 2006. That designation has become a widely recognized sign of high quality early childhood education.
The rigorous bid took about 18 months from start to finish, said Erin Frazier, the centers director. As part of the process, all of the centers teachers went back to school for more education and training.
And the higher standards have meant extra costs here and there. Workers must wear latex gloves when changing diapers, for example, and changing tables are now wiped down with two different solutions to enhance cleanliness.
To earn the associations accreditation, The Childrens Center at Mulberry went through an extensive self-study process, measuring the program against the associations 10 early childhood program standards and more than 400 related accreditation criteria. There was also an on-site visit by assessors.
The standards include implementing a curriculum that fosters all areas of child development and providing continuing assessments of a childs leaning and development and communicating the childs progress to the family.
There are 76 students at the center, from 6-week-old babies to 5-year-olds.