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Stellar Spartans and Child Care Stars

Janet Imrick | Mon Nov 13, 2023

The facilities want to be assessed for a simple reason: They want parents to know they are a good one. For Norma Honeycutt ’14 MEd, ’14 PBC, ’14 CERT, executive director of Partners in Learning in Salisbury, N.C., a rating lets her know if she has the best facility.

“The rated license system allows us to do that by providing a way to measure quality,” she said. “It’s an indicator for early childhood educators seeking employment, and for parents. The process itself, including the classroom assessments, is a great tool for staff development.”

Her facility, which has been open 27 years, has a five-star rating. Honeycutt, who began as the executive director 25 years ago, proudly says that her facility was one of the first in the state to receive the five-star rating.

They prepare for assessments regularly, with teachers observed monthly by a member of leadership who offers feedback. Teachers are also invited to observe each other’s classrooms. And during rating renewal, they focus on staff morale.

Similarly, UNCG alumna Arietha Brunson ’17, ’23 MEd operates the in-home child care facility Kingdom Kids Development Center in Greensboro and wants it to be assessed so parents and caregivers can see accountability.

“Being rated also provides opportunities to identify quality indicators and potential areas of improvement in our child care facility,” Brunson said. “Being rated may ease the minds of potential families as they seek quality early learning experiences for their children.”

“We’re proud of how far we’ve helped move our state in terms of child care quality.”

–Dr. Linda Hestenes, NCRLAP co-director

Her facility has been open four years and has a four-star rating. Brunson said she works with Education, Quality Improved and Professional Development (EQuIPD) for technical assistance and professional development with early care and education prior to being assessed, and she also examines mock assessment reports. EQuIPD – founded by the same Dr. Deborah Cassidy who led UNCG into the statewide ratings initiative – provides professional development, educational planning, and curriculum assistance for Guilford County’s early childhood care facilities.