July 6, 2020
For Immediate Release
Child Care Associates Aims to Nationally Accredit Its 20 Early Education Campuses that Serve 2,000+ Underprivileged Children in Tarrant County The Agency is Leading Tarrant County Child Care Outreach Efforts During COVID-19 and is the largest provider of Head Start and Early Head Start Programming in the County
FORT WORTH, TX – The lead agency advising Tarrant County officials on child care for essential workers and child care provider support during COVID-19, Child Care Associates (CCA), today announced its commitment to achieving national accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) for its early education campuses within three years. In Texas, of the 14,796 licensed child care settings, only 317, or less than two percent, have achieved NAEYC national accreditation standards. NAEYC is the nation’s largest and most-widely respected accreditation in early childhood quality practices.
“NAEYC Accreditation has been a benchmark of high-quality early childhood experiences for more than 30-years in Texas and we are so excited to have Child Care Associates commit to this level of quality. Now more than ever, young children need to be not only in a safe and healthy environment, but surrounded by environments enriched with learning experiences that will help them grow and develop to their fullest potential with educated teachers leading the way,” said Texas Association for the Education of Young Children (TXAEYC) Executive Director Kim Kofron, M.Ed. “When families have their children in a NAEYC accredited program they know they are getting the highest quality care for their children. TXAEYC applauds CCA for this level of commitment to our youngest Texans.”
According to leaders in the child care industry, COVID-19 has raised the profile of need for ensuring early education settings are high-quality with appropriate square footage, highly qualified staff and health/safety standards at the highest levels. While there are other organizations that offer accreditation for programs serving young children in the field of early childhood education, NAEYC remains the gold standard for programs serving children birth to 5-years of age.
“At CCA, we put children first…always. COVID-19 has helped us realize our need to be steadfast on our longstanding commitment to quality education for young children,” said CCA CEO Kara Waddell. “While we have always worked to attain standards higher than what child care licensing requires (including Head Start and Texas Rising Star standards), we are formalizing our commitment to the families we serve with this national accreditation. Families of all income levels value and expect more than ever before including a commitment to safety, health practices and the highest standards of child-centered learning.”
CCA’s history of providing quality early childhood education has proven that the experiences of young children influence brain development and adult attachment, as well as prepare children for lifelong learning. Areas of additional commitment from CCA include:
- Early Ed Essentials – a validated tool that assesses the campus conditions including a culture of family engagement and collaborative teaching.
- University assessors – who externally assess the quality of teacher-child interactions in CCA classrooms twice annually using a gold standard CLASS observation tool.
As the lead agency advising Tarrant County officials on child care for essential workers during COVID-19, early on CCA collaborated with its data and technology partners to create FIND!, an online platform that allows remote users to update child care status at local child care agencies. CCA also launched financial support services for essential workers that allows essential workers to apply to offset 100 percent of child care costs via CCA’s Child Care Management Services (CCMS) program. Waddell serves on Governor Abbott’s Texas Frontline Child Care Task Force and leads a subgroup of the National Emergency Child Care Task Force with Save the Children.
About Child Care Associates
Child Care Associates is one of the largest child development nonprofits in North Texas and has served more than 620,000 young children in the past 52 years. Through Head Start and Early Head Start programs, Child Care Associates delivers early education that ensures children who need it most are ready to succeed in school. Child Care Associates operates 20+ child development centers in the greater Fort Worth and Arlington-area to serve 2000+ disadvantaged children per year. Partnering with school districts and charter schools, Child Care Associates ensures underprivileged children in Pre-K also benefit from whole child, whole family services.
Child Care Management Services (CCMS) is CCA’s largest program, annually providing services to more than 12,000 children by assisting working parents with the cost of child care and improving the quality of child care programs and professionals.
At a time when Fort Worth and Arlington are rallying around the needs of early education in unprecedented ways, Child Care Associates is dedicated to supporting the growth and development of young children zero-five years old. CCA supports the belief that all children benefit from access to quality early education. For children from lower-income families, CCA’s signature early education services help “boost” children to success. CCA combines high-quality early education for young children with supports that promote nurturing parenting to help ensure children reach their full developmental potential by the end of third grade.
For enrolling your child in a CCA campus, please visit: https://childcareassociates.org/head-start-early-head-start/. For enrolling to receive CCMS child care subsidy assistance, please visit: https://tarrantcountyccms.org/home/parents/.
For more information about CCA: https://childcareassociates.org.
PR Contact: Susan K. Medina
SKM Communication Strategies, LLC