Rating system promotes quality child care - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Rating system promotes quality child care

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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

By Meggan Gray – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi Child Care Quality Step System is a program that rates participating child care centers based on certain criteria.  Centers can earn up to a five-star rating and qualify for bonus funding. It's one way the Office for Children and Youth of the Mississippi Department of Human services promotes quality child care throughout the state. 

The Quality Step System is voluntary for child care centers.  Currently, there are about 400 participating centers throughout the state. 

Freda Kirkland, a classroom evaluator for Mississippi State University who works closely with the program, says there's no reason more centers should sign up.  The goal is to get as many child care providers on board as possible. 

Kirkland says the benefits for child care facilities that choose to participate are endless.  Once rated, the center will gain a marketing advantage, access to customized technical assistance and access to more professional development.  And centers that participate in the Mississippi Child Care Assistance Program, are also eligible for up to 25% in quality bonus money.

Signing up for Mississippi Child Care Quality Step System is free.  If you'd like more information, please call the Madison office at 601-447-6575, or contact Kirkland directly at 601-853-3972.

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