Clarendon Elementary School preschool joins STARS program

Vermont's Child Development Division (CDD) today announced that Clarendon Elementary School Preschool, a public school preschool program coordinated by Wendy Bernard has joined Vermont's Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS) for child care, preschool and afterschool programs with four stars of recognition.

STARS providers are recognized for achievements in five areas: compliance with state regulations; staff qualifications and training; daily activities, interaction and overall support of children, families, and the community; how thoroughly providers assess what they do and plans for improvements; and the strength of the program's operating policies and business practices. Four star programs are established programs that have made achievements in all five areas and are continuing to work on additional improvements. They promote the well being of parents, children and colleagues with strong practices.

Clarendon Elementary School Pre-school Program's philosophy is based on the belief that each child is unique and that it is the role of the teacher to provide opportunities for growth. The pre-school curriculum is a combination of both play-based and education-based learning. Teachers and staff serve as models, initiators and observers of learning. Teaching staff must create an environment where children feel safe and comfortable, allowing them to experiment, explore, and develop a learning style that works best for them. The success of each child within the program will build a positive sense of self, and a confidence that will serve as their foundation for future learning and growth.

"We are pleased to welcome Clarendon Elementary School Preschool to the STARS program," said Steve Dale, commissioner of the Department for Children and Families. "This achievement confirms their commitment to providing quality child care and education, and we look forward to many other Rutland County child care, preschool and afterschool programs joining them."

STARS is Vermont's quality rating system for child care, preschool, and afterschool programs. The STARS program is a public-private partnership created and led by the Child Development Division of the Vermont Department for Children & Families. STARS allows child care providers to receive one to five stars based on the number of points they achieve across five self-assessment areas. Building Bright Futures and IBM provide statewide community support. Building Bright Futures provides incentive payments for 1-, 2-, and 3-star providers while IBM donates Young Explorer Computer Learning Centers to eligible providers. For more information and a current list of recognized providers and local community partners, please visit www. STARSstepahead.org.

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