Little kids love getting stars for good work, but so do big kids i.e. adults. Temple Tots has received a one-star rating from the Ohio Department of Education’s Step Up to Quality(SUTQ) program. SUTQ is a five-star quality rating and improvement system that recognizes and promotes child care programs that exceed minimum health and safety licensing regulations. By 2020, any child care program wishing to provide publicly funded child care must be a star-rated program.
This award may not seem like much to some people, because Temple Tots only has one-star when there are five to achieve, but there is a lot of work that went into receiving this first star. Temple Tots Director, Caroline King, with cooperation from her staff, is to be commended for achieving this star.
Julie Burchett, Special Projects Coordinator Early Care and Education Division for COAD(Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development), brought the award banner down to present to Temple Tots.
Carolyn Snivley, Temple Tots Trustee Member, who was once the director there and retired and also worked for COAD. “My vision has always been for people to know we are a step up to quality, Caroline(King) shared that same vision, and said she wanted to be star rated,” Snively said. “I give her so much credit, she has worked so hard to get the paperwork done, the staff has to get training, she’s always fulfilled my dreams. And now she says she’s ready for Step Up two. I am just thrilled.” Both ladies added, Temple Tots has been in business for 41 years saying the ministry is still going strong.
“This is a big deal because the whole state of Ohio Ohio Department of Education and Jobs and Family services have mandated the SUTQ by 2020. What it is, is that the centers have to have a curriculum, the staff has to have education, and they have to have family engagement,” Burchett said. “It is a big deal to show the whole community is working together to take care of these kids. They are not just babysitting, your child is going to be receiving educational stuff while they are here. Some people are looking at a five-star compared to the one-star they have, but you’re looking at requirements that take time and work.”
King said she could not have done this without Burchett. Burchett says her services are free, so she just schedules King in and spends an hour or two to do whatever is needed. They both said that the licensing will come in and they look at everything, including each child’s as well the classrooms.
King has been the director at Temple Tots now for almost two years. She said she has been in Early Childhood Education for 30 years. “It was very difficult to leave the classroom. To be a part of a ministry that has been here for almost 42 years, that is huge.”
She talked about taking on Snivley’s dream and was asked if she realized how much work it would be. “Anything that is worth anything is hard work,” she said. “When Julie told me we received the one star, I was very very happy. This is a great place to be.”
King said her goal is to have a three-star in a year. She and Burchett will start work on a two first, then the three. She also talked about her staff. “My employees are my right arm, we are only as good as our employees.” Burchett added that, to become a three star, your staff has to contribute quite a bit to achieve.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928