Congratulations to Salim & Andrea Karnaby of Discovery Point Suncoast Crossing in Odessa, FL for being awarded the 2012 President’s Award! The President’s Award is given to a franchisee who far exceeds the Discovery Point quality standards and leads in early childhood education!
DULUTH, GA – Discovery Point Child Development Centers are currently collecting coats and sweatshirts for children impacted by the devastation of Hurricane Sandy as part of Diane’s Devotion, an annual, year-end charitable initiative designed to help a different child-focused charity each year.
Diane Clark, the company’s co-founder and vice president, passed away unexpectedly in October of this year. Diane devoted her life to helping children dream, learn and succeed. She relished her 18 years as a local area high school teacher, and 24 years helping husband Cliff Clark build Discovery Point Child Development Centers. The company created Diane’s Devotion as a charitable outreach in her memory.
This year, Diane’s Devotion is supporting the New York Cares organization as they seek to collect over 200,000 coats for the many children who lost everything due to Hurricane Sandy. Local Discovery Point Child Development Centers are asking their students, families, and their surrounding communities, to bring new or gently used coats and sweatshirts to a participating center’s Diane’s Devotion collection box in the lobby. To make a contribution, simply visit www.discoverypoint.com to find the closest drop-off location.
Diane was most excited when she had the opportunity to impact a child, inspiring them to dream and giving them the tools they need to succeed. With this year’s first annual Diane’s Devotion, the Discovery Point family is helping support the very basic needs of a child — something Diane would have relished.
About Discovery Point:
Based in Duluth, Georgia, Discovery Point Franchising, Inc. is a leading child development franchisor in the southeastern United States. Discovery Point has 55 world-class child development centers in Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee, providing creative instruction and imaginative play for children. Founded in 1988, Discovery Point has provided quality childcare for families and offers franchisees a proven formula for success. For more information: www.discoverypoint.com and www.discoverypointfranchise.com.
In six months, over 700 early learning programs have voluntarily enrolled in new rating program
ATLANTA, Ga., (August 3, 2012) – Bobby Cagle, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), announced this week that in only six months, DECAL has met its first year goal of enrolling 700 child care programs in Quality Rated, Georgia’s new voluntary system to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early care and education programs. Similar to rating systems for other service industries like restaurants and hotels, Quality Rated identifies early care and education programs that meet a set of standards exceeding the state’s minimum licensing requirements. Quality Rated launched in January, 2012.
Commissioner Cagle said implementing Quality Rated is a priority for Governor Nathan Deal. “Governor Deal has clearly communicated his vision for a state where children attend quality early care and education programs that support the whole child and prepare them for ongoing success in life. With 700 centers voluntarily enrolling in only six months, we can see how this program is being enthusiastically embraced by child care professionals across the state.”
Diane Clarke Co-Founder and Vice President of Discovery Point Franchising, an early adopter of Quality Rated stated “Quality is the basis on which our Discovery Point Centers were founded. When you visit our centers, you will notice quality in building and equipment, in personnel, in pride of ownership, and in training and education of staff. We are honored to work with DECAL in this partnership to launch the Quality Rated program in the state of Georgia. We know how beneficial it will be to have that dedicated support from DECAL as the centers work through the QR initiatives. We have pledged to devote time and energies to assist DECAL in making this program strong”.
Dr. Laura Johns, Director of Quality Initiatives at DECAL, added that “Quality Rated will award ratings at increasing levels to early care and education programs that meet defined program standards beyond Georgia’s minimum licensing requirements”. Programs choosing to participate in Quality Rated become eligible for free professional development, technical assistance, and financial incentive packages funded by a $2.4 million grant from the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation and the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta. The grant was recently awarded to the Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) who will administer three types of Quality Rated incentives to participating early care and education programs as they achieve higher levels of quality. The initial incentive of $1,000.00 worth of materials is available to programs participating in technical assistance programs with local child care resource and referral agencies. The second incentive of $500.00 is awarded to participating programs submitting a completed Quality Rated portfolio thereby agreeing to an onsite evaluation within 90 days using the Environment Rating Scales instrument. Bonus packages ranging in value from $6,000 – $4,000 are then awarded to programs who are rated at the entry, medium or high levels.
Parents whose children receive subsidized child care through the Childcare and Parents Services Program (CAPS) also win with Quality Rated. CAPS intends to implement tiered reimbursement in July 2013 for Quality Rated programs that serve children receiving subsidized care. Tiered reimbursement means that child care subsidy payments will be based on the quality level of the program. The higher the Quality Rated level, the higher the subsidy reimbursement. Mona Jackson, CAPS Director, hopes that tiered reimbursement will encourage eligible families to choose Quality Rated programs and that programs already participating in the subsidy program will enroll and participate in Quality Rated and become eligible for higher reimbursement payments.
A quarter of Georgia children under age five years receive some kind of subsidized child care, according to a 2010 report by the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute. Carol Hartman, Assistant Commissioner of Programs at the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) notes that “federal subsidies that help eligible Georgians afford child care is now administered by DECAL.” Hartman said that in July 2013 the state plans to begin using the federal money to offer increased child care reimbursements to higher-performing day cares.
In July 2013, families will be able to verify if a provider is voluntarily agreeing to meet higher standards by participating in Quality Rated and to see the quality rating they have achieved by visiting the Bright from the Start website at www.decal.ga.gov.
Child care programs may learn more about Quality Rated and sign up for a Quality Rated orientation session sponsored by the local child care resource and referral agency at: https://www.cnp2000.decal.ga.gov/QualityRatedTraining/Splash.asp or visit the Quality Rated webpage at http://www.qualityrated.decal.ga.gov where eligible programs can begin the application process. For answers to questions about Quality Rated, call the Quality Rated Help Desk at 1-855-800-7747.
About Bright from the Start
Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is responsible for meeting the child care and early education needs of Georgia’s children and their families. It administers the nationally recognized Georgia’s Pre-K Program, licenses child care centers and home-based child care, administers federal nutrition programs, and manages voluntary quality enhancement programs.
The department also houses the Head Start State Collaboration Office, distributes federal funding to enhance the quality and availability of child care, and works collaboratively with Georgia child care resource and referral agencies and organizations throughout the state to enhance early care and education. For more information, go to www.decal.ga.gov.
The Clark-Vinson Leadership Award was established by the Georgia Child Care Association (GCCA) to honor the contributions and dedication to the child care industry made by Cliff and Diane Clark of Discovery Point Franchising and by Pat and Janice Vinson of Kids ‘R’ Kids International. Many of GCCA’s legislative accomplishments over the past several years have been made possible through the generous support of the Vinsons and the Clarks.
The Clark-Vinson award will be presented each year at GCCA’s membership meeting to the center owner who demonstrates outstanding initiative and leadership in advancing the mission of GCCA and promoting quality, licensed child care in Georgia.
Suwanee, GA — Gabriela Martinez, a Lead Preschool Teacher at the Discovery Point Child Development Center in Suwanee, has received a Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s TYLENOL® National Child Care Teacher Award™. She is one of only 50 teachers nationwide, and the only one from Georgia, selected for their commitment and dedication to the children they serve.
Recognizing the need to raise the status of child care teachers and the need for quality child care, the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation (TLLCCF) created the award to acknowledge the critical role of child care teachers in providing quality care and education for preschool children.
A native of Ecuador and U.S. citizen, Ms. Martinez has been a Lead Teacher at Discovery Point Suwanee for four years. Prior to that she was a Head Start teacher in Buffalo, NY for 14 years and taught in Ecuadorean schools earlier in her career. She and her husband, David, have two daughters, one a college senior and one a college graduate.
“We are so proud of our award-winning teacher!” said Hows King, Franchise Owner. “It’s great for her to receive outside recognition for the hard work and dedication she invests daily in making her classroom a special place for the children under her care.”
As part of the process, each applicant is asked to design a classroom enhancement project with educational, social, and emotional benefits, and each winner receives a grant to implement the project. Ms. Martinez proposed a multilingual literacy center that incorporates five of the languages spoken by students in her classroom. One section of the center will be dedicated to listening & reading activities, the other to writing skills development.
“We extend our most sincere congratulations to Ms. Martinez and to the owner, managers and staff of Discovery Point Suwanee,” said Diane and Cliff Clark, founders of the Duluth-based chain of child development centers. “They have created a shining example of what top quality early childhood care and education can be.”
In February, Ms. Martinez received personal congratulations from Gov. Nathan Deal and Bobby Cagle, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, in a ceremony at the State Capitol.
About Discovery Point Suwanee
Located at 930 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Suwanee, GA. Discovery Point Suwanee serves a widely diverse group of children including families from 35 different countries. This diversity is reflected in the center’s staff. Among the languages spoken at Discovery Point Suwanee are English, Korean, Spanish and Hindi. Learn more at www.discoverypoint.com.