Child Care Quality Initiatives
In 2001, SWORPS created a child care quality unit at the request of the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) to support the child care improvement efforts mandated by a state law (T.C.A. §71-3-502) passed earlier that year. The law led to the creation of the Tennessee Child Care Report Card and Star-Quality Program (tnstarquality.org). This program:
- Recognizes quality child care programs throughout the state.
- Provides information to child care agencies that can be used to improve the quality of their services.
- Gives Tennessee’s families more information about choosing care for their children.
The staff in this unit are comprised of two work groups, the Child Care Training and Quality Assurance group and the East Child Care Resource and Referral group. They are a dedicated team of early childhood professionals with expertise in the following:
- Child development
- Developmentally appropriate practices
- Training design and delivery
- Technical assistance
- Program development and operations
Play is often talked about as if it were a serious relief from learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.
– Fred Rogers
Unit staff have also worked on numerous other child care quality improvement efforts.
- Assisted with the development of the Tennessee Early Learning Development Standards (TN-ELDS).
- Operated a “mini-grant” program for child care agencies in Tennessee.
- Developed entry-level online training modules for the Tennessee Child Care Online Training System (TCCOTS) – http://www.tccots.com/.
- Presentations on Tennessee’s child care improvement initiatives and developmentally appropriate practices at local, state, national, and international conferences.