MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) –The Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) is working to better educate youngsters.
The new Georgia early education program was introduced to members of the Milledgeville community, during a luncheon at Georgia College and State University held Friday.
GEEARS Executive Director, Mindy Binderman told the business and civic leaders, the group is encouraging Georgia early educators to improve their teaching skills.
GEEARS new program "Quality Rated" is a voluntary rating system for early education programs throughout the state.
There are nearly 6,000 child care facilities in Georgia, and 1,400 of those are participating in the GEEARS "quality rated" early education system program.
According to Binderman, the new program is beneficial to parents, childcare providers, and pre-school teachers.
"We wanted to reach out to the community and explain why early education is important and give details of the new program," said Binderman. "We give tools to parents so that they could identify high quality early education programs in their communities. It helps, by giving them incentives and a lot of technical assistance in training to provide very high quality early education experience for our youngest learners."
GEEARS' meetings are designed to build communities that support valuable experiences for preschoolers.
"We are building a movement to support early learning and healthy development of children, from birth to five-years-old throughout the state," she added. "Parents can have peace of mind that these programs have a commitment to quality improvements and that the teachers are getting the training they need as well as the support they need to make that happen."
To earn a quality rating, schools have to show how ell their teachers interact with students and how well the kids learn and retain what they have learned.
"The evaluation process for quality rating is a system and a series of assessments that are done by nationally certified individuals looking at the physical plant of childcare learning sites or family daycare centers," said Georgia Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Early Care and Learning, Keith Bostick. "We are able to determine the commitment of a provider. We believe that if we don't get early learning correct. If we don't get those added essential things that take place between infancy to five-years-old, which is the most critical stages of our learning, we're going to have a problem."
St. Stephens Day School in Milledgeville has been approved by GEEARS. The former director of the school, Carol Grant said they started the process of becoming a high quality early education institution more than a year ago.
"I've always been trying to improve the quality of our program for the children and families that we serve," said Grant.
For more information about GEEARS or to locate a "high quality" childcare or school visit their website at www.qualityrated.org