More Stars at Gan Ami
Following an eighteen month process of measurement and preparation, Gan Ami Early Childhood Education, the JCC’s early childhood program, earned accreditation from the Association for Early Learning Leaders’ National Accreditation Commission (NAC). Upon receiving the national accreditation, Gan Ami Early Childhood Education – in both Whitefish Bay and at the Linda and Fred Wein Center for Gan Ami Early Childhood Education in Mequon – will be recognized as a ‘five star’ center within the state of Wisconsin’s child care quality rating and improvement system, Youngstar.
“This accreditation is recognition of what our families tell us – that this early childhood education program provides quality, inclusion, and value every single day,” said JCC President & Chief Executive Officer Mark Shapiro. “We know that the single most important factor in a parent’s choosing a school for their youngest learner is staff quality, and the NAC’s accreditation is a testament to the quality of the educators we have at the JCC.”
As part of the accreditation process, Gan Ami was rated on three administrative components (Administration, Family Engagement and Health and Safety) and three classroom components (curriculum, interactions with teachers and children and health and safety) for a total of 91 standards. Program leadership had to complete a comprehensive report on each classroom in advance of on-site visits.
“We pursued the NAC accreditation because of its commitment to quality, particularly with how they emphasize teachers, families, and growing relationships,” added Stacy Synold, Director of JCC Early Childhood Education. “This is an accreditation that reflects our values and holds us accountable to the high standards we set for ourselves; to be a home for exceptional education and a learning destination for students, caregivers, and faculty.”
Wisconsin’s Youngstar program, created in 2010 to improve the quality of child care in the state, reserves its five star ratings for early childhood centers that demonstrate excellence in provider’s education and training, learning environment and curriculum, business practices, and children’s health and well-being.
“In Jewish early childhood, we’re seeking connections, in relationship with families and educators, all with the child at the center, learning and changing, never forgetting the deep responsibility we all share in nurturing the child as they grow older,” Synold said. “The NAC accreditation is a sign that we have all the resources in place to deliver on that responsibility.”
According to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, which administers the state-wide Youngstar program, “The care children receive at home and away from home couldn’t be more important. Studies show that children who experience engaging, one-on-one activities and safe, healthy and nurturing learning environments have a better chance at lifelong success. They’re more likely to graduate from high school and they often earn higher wages throughout their lifetime.”
“At Gan Ami, we serve families in a safe, inclusive, and learningrich Jewish environment,” Synold concluded. “Our year round program offers deep relationships with learning in a childfocused, creative and loving community, full of Jewish values and experiences.”